Icon McBride reflects on his life in documentary

A triumphant Willie John McBride celebrates after captaining the Lions to win the test series in South Africa in 1974. Willie John is on Monday 2 March, BBC One Northern Ireland at 10.45pm
A triumphant Willie John McBride celebrates after captaining the Lions to win the test series in South Africa in 1974. Willie John is on Monday 2 March, BBC One Northern Ireland at 10.45pm

Willie John McBride, one of the Ballymena area’s best-loved sporting figures, reflects on his life on and off the rugby pitch in a special film for BBC One Northern Ireland. .

In Willie John on Monday 2 March at 10.45pm, BBC Sport NI traces a sporting journey like no other.

The film follows Willie John from the humble beginnings on the family farm in Moneyglass, to starting his rugby career with Ballymena Academy and at Ballymena RFC, through the political turmoil of The Troubles and apartheid in South Africa, to his record-breaking captaincy of the British and Irish Lions.

Willie John’s brother John and his wife Penny, daughter Amanda and son, Paul, all feature in the programme.

It also features archive footage from Ireland internationals in which Willie John played as well as Lions matches.

Reflecting back on his career, Willie John McBride says: “I think it’s important to remember where you come from. I can still have the soil of Moneyglass on my hands and will as long as I live.”