OPINION: Ryan McBride Stadium not for me but we must honour our Derry City heroes
It seems there is still some debate around the proposal to name the new Brandywell after Ryan McBride, one of Derry City's greatest ever servants.
Let me make my own position clear at the outset – I’m against it; and for a number of reasons.
When the idea was first mooted the first name to flash into my head was Mark Farren, City’s leading post-1985 scorer. Then there were contenders like the Coyle family (Fay and Liam); the Crossans (Eddie, Jobby and Jimbo); the Dohertys (Matt Snr, Matt jnr and Tom); the great Jimmy Kelly; the Carlyles (Hughie and Paul) and many, many other very worthy contenders.
And the very fact that there are divergent views on the subject is surely enough in itself not to go ahead. I didn’t know Ryan other than to see how modest a lad he was and how well he carried himself, but I’d bet that the very last thing he’d want was any controversy surrounding his name.
What this suggestion has highlighted, however, is the need for the club to have some concrete way of honouring its heroes both dead and alive. For the past number of years I have been advocating the creation of a Hall of Fame in which Ryan McBride would have a very honoured place.
I’m not quite sure why this hasn’t been implemented before now but the lack of our own premises where we could hold meetings and functions has surely been a contributory factor.
And, if the latest debate has done nothing else, it has surely (again) highlighted this glaring omission in the club’s affairs.