Craig drumming up support for NI supporters’ charity song

Craig Lutton (with drum) leading the London Northern Ireland Supporters' Club through London as they took part in the recent St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Craig Lutton (with drum) leading the London Northern Ireland Supporters' Club through London as they took part in the recent St. Patrick's Day Parade.

A Ballymena man will be banging the drum - quite literally - for Northern Ireland football fans’ fund-raising efforts in his hometown this Easter.

Ardent Northern Ireland supporter and passionate Ballymena United fan Craig Lutton is taking over the Ballymena bandstand on Easter Tuesday from 11am-2pm to drum up sales for ‘Making Our Way to Paris’, a Euro 2016 CD single that is also supporting NI charity Cancer Fund for Children.

Ably assisted by his sister Rachel Lutton and friend Jordan Miller, Craig will be promoting the lighthearted cover of the popular classic Smokie hit ‘Living Next door to Alice’, which has been recorded by members of the London Northern Ireland Supporters’ Club (London NISC).

The lyrics of ‘Making Our Way to Paris’ capture the ecstasy of NI’s unexpected qualification for UEFA Euro 2016, while also playing tribute to the Sweden ’58, Spain ’82 and Mexico ’86 World Cup squads.

Craig, who took part in the recording, is in his third year studying percussion at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music, London, and is a very active member of the London NISC.

Indeed, he’s only just back from the game against Wales in Cardiff, where he led the Green and White Army’s chants with his bass drum.

He wanted to take the opportunity of his Easter break home to promote the ‘Making Our Way to Paris’ CD single in Ballymena and also help raise awareness for NI Cancer Fund for Children.

In fact, he and his sister Rachel aren’t the only Lutton family members helping the cause - dad Gregory Lutton is also selling the CDs from his trophy and medals business Sporting Occasions on the High Street in Antrim.

Commenting on his involvement, Craig said: “The London NISC are a great bunch and have really helped while I was away from home.

“Our members come from across London and south east England, and from all backgrounds in Northern Ireland.

“When we were asked if the club could assist, we jumped at the chance to muck in and volunteer, especially if it helps a great cause like the Cancer Fund for Children.

“London NISC members have sung the chorus and backing vocals, and provided the CD cover design, video, photos and marketing.

“The club is a wonderful way of making new friends, and being able to support Northern Ireland with fellow fans in central London is the next best thing to being at Windsor Park.

“When I heard they were recording a single I couldn’t wait to get involved in the fun.

“To have the chance to help promote it back home in Ballymena is superb, especially as it also hopes to raise awareness and funds for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.”

For more information on the ‘Making Our Way to Paris’ song, see or come along to the Bandstand on Easter Tuesday and support Craig in person.