Liverpool manager’s hotline to local coach Arthur

Arthur McClean pictured with two of his former players, ex-Northern Ireland international Steven Penney and current Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill, as a special function marking the local football coach's contribution to the sport, held in the Adair Arms Hotel last week. See page 50 for report and more pictures from the event. INBT 44-813H
Arthur McClean pictured with two of his former players, ex-Northern Ireland international Steven Penney and current Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill, as a special function marking the local football coach's contribution to the sport, held in the Adair Arms Hotel last week. See page 50 for report and more pictures from the event. INBT 44-813H

Local football coach Arthur McClean received an unexpected telephone call last week.

On the other end of the phone was none other than Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers!

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Anfield supremo (pictured below) was passing on his best wishes to Ballymena man Arthur, who started Rodgers’ footballing career as a youngster at Star United.

“It was completely out of the blue but it was a very pleasant surprise,” said Arthur.

The call came just hours before Arthur’s contribution to football in Ballymena over the last 40 years was recognised at a special function in the Adair Arms Hotel.

Among those who paid tribute to the Harryville man’s efforts were Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.

Don’t miss the Ballymena Times this Tuesday for a full rundown on Arthur’s big night.