SPORTS AWARDS: Richard honoured for dedication to cycling

Deputy Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr. Hubert Nicholl, presents the Services of Sport to Richard Wilson. INBT06-229AC

Deputy Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr. Hubert Nicholl, presents the Services of Sport to Richard Wilson. INBT06-229AC

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Richard Wilson’s lifetime of dedication to cycling earned him the Services to Sport award.

Richard has been associated with Ballymena Road Club for more than 40 years and was their youngest ever chairman at the age of just 19!

“I think it was just a matter of getting someone’s name on the sheet!” laughed Richard.

“It’s a totally different story nowadays.”

Throughout his association with the club he has held virtually every position including secretary, race secretary and treasurer, while he is currently the club’s public relations officer and does an excellent job, virtually 52 weeks a year.

He was also responsible for acquiring sponsorship from his employers, Scott Roof Tiles, in 1982 - a deal which still exists today.

“At the time Syd Millar was the MD and if anyone appreciates sport, it’s Syd.

“It was initially just to get the name on the minibus - it’s now Northstone but the sponsorship is still going.”

Richard also reflected upon his long association with the Railway Street-based club, who have around 150 members on their books.

“The success of the club is down to people like Rex Bonar, who has turned 84 but he is still there on a Saturday morning, opening up the club and making sure cyclists have food for the run.

“Twenty years ago there were no ladies in the club but now when you go out, the ladies outnumber the men, which is great to see,” added Richard.

Also short-listed: Campbell Garrett (pool); Gary Donald (rugby).