Frickleton receives warm welcome at United dinner

Sammy Frickleton made an emotional return to the Showgrounds as a top table guest at Saturday’s Ballymena United pre-match lunch.

Frickleton, one of the club’s most iconic figures during a colourful spell in the early 1970s, received a rapturous ovation when he was announced at the Northstone-sponsored function, prior to Saturday’s game against Coleraine.

Top table guests at Saturday's pre-match corporate lunch in the Des Allen Suite. Back row (from left): John Taggart (Ballymena United chairman); Gerry Donnelly (guest speaker); Edwin McLaughlin (MC); Rev Alistair Beattie (Ballymena United chaplain). Front row (from left): Andy Johnston (NIFL Managing Director); Emma Colgan (Ballymena United); Terry Cochrane; and Sammy Frickleton.

Top table guests at Saturday's pre-match corporate lunch in the Des Allen Suite. Back row (from left): John Taggart (Ballymena United chairman); Gerry Donnelly (guest speaker); Edwin McLaughlin (MC); Rev Alistair Beattie (Ballymena United chaplain). Front row (from left): Andy Johnston (NIFL Managing Director); Emma Colgan (Ballymena United); Terry Cochrane; and Sammy Frickleton.

“People say there are no characters in football any more - Sammy is the man for whom the word character could have been invented,” said Master of Ceremonies Edwin McLaughlin.

The function was once again a sell-out and the club has thanked the following individuals and organisations who took tables: Ahoghill Thistle; Alan Francey Coach Hire; Alex Richardson; Ballymena Spurs SC; Ballymena United Youth Acdemy; Billy Anderson; Cloughmills NISC; Colin Lorimer; Colin Taylor; Danske Bank; Dennison Commercials; Galgorm Blues; Gregory Warwick; Harry Millar; Ian McKeown; James Henry Minibus Hire; McCurdy Haulage/McCurdy Fuels; McIlrath Solicitors; McNeill’s Hardware Broughshane; Paramount BUSC; Paradise BUSC; RGM Financial Services; Seven Towers BUSC; Slemish n Tha Braid Credit Union; Smallcost Carpets; Spirit of 89 SC; TBF Thompson DAF Trucks; The Armstrong family; The Young Guns; WS Mercer; and William Hamill & Sons.