DERRY CITY Football Club hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons last week as attacks on visiting supporters received plenty of column inches in local and national newspapers.
However, the good work carried out behind the scenes at the Lone Moor Road club and in the local community tends to get overlooked.
Although many of the pupils are mostly Linfield and Glentoran supporters, they will not forget the reception they received today.Keith McClure
And, this week, as hundreds of Derry City fans turned out in force to support the club’s United We Stand’ protest walk at Brandywell in reponse to those recent attacks on Dundalk fans, the football club and its manager received glowing praise from visiting Comber school, Nendrum College following a recent, impromptu visit to the area.
Derry City boss, Kenny Shiels took time out from his managerial duties and greeted the pupils of the school following their Northern Ireland Schools’ Cup U14 game against Lumen Christi at the Showgrounds and facilitated a tour of the Brandywell Stadium.
The Nendrum College side, which incidentally included the son of current Warrenpoint Town boss, Matthew Tipton, may have lost out to the Bishop’s Street school on penalties, but they were delighted with the hospitality shown by Derry City Football Club during their visit to the city.
And in an letter of appreciation sent to the club’s offices last week, Nendrum College’s Head of Junior School, Mr Keith McClure, said the pupils will ‘never forget the reception they received’ and thanked the club for its generous hospitality.
It read: “Today my school football team from Nendrum College, Comber (13 miles from Belfast) played our Northern Ireland Schools’ Cup game against Lumen Christi on the pitch beside the Brandywell Showgrounds. Although beaten on penalties I wish to pay my thanks to Derry City for the hospitality we were shown.
“From the moment we arrived we received a very cordial welcome and after the game the groundsman permitted the pupils and I to walk around the stadium. To top it all off, Kenny Shiels arrived on the scene and he was very kind to engage with the pupils and to pose for a group photo.
“Although many of the pupils are mostly Linfield and Glentoran supporters, they will not forget the reception they received today.
“The pupils and I really appreciated the way we were looked after and I would appreciate it if this message could be relayed to the hierarchy concerned within the club.”