A gala Testimonial Dinner on Saturday evening at Tullyglass Hotel brought to an end a wonderful testimonial season for long serving Ballymena United goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson.
The event was extremely well attended with representatives of current Irish League players and a mix of legends joining Ballymena United players, coaches, staff, committee, supporters and friends and family.
Jackie Fullerton compered the evening in his own inimitable manner bringing his wit and knowledge of the local game to interviews with some special guests. Following the meal Jackie hosted a question and answer session with a few Irish League Legends including Balymena United manager Glenn Ferguson; ex Ballymena United manager Kenny Shiels; the well decorated Alfie Stewart and one of the most talented Irish League players of recent times Rodney McAree.
There were several high profile signed football memorabilia on auction including a signed and framed Northern Ireland top; a signed and framed Glasgow Rangers top; a signed David de Gea top and Hugo Lloris signed gloves.
Ballymena United Chairman John Taggart paid tribute to Dwayne’s loyalty, dedication and service to the club and Kenny Shiels, who signed Dwayne for Ballymena, was full of praise for his attention to detail. Glenn Ferguson paid tribute to Dwayne’s mental toughness throughout his time at the club and his performances this season.
Secretary of his Testimonial Committee, Davy Douglas, made a presentation to Dwayne of a signed and framed action photograph of the testimonial match against Glasgow Rangers. The print was masterminded and sponsored by Damian McKee of Picture Magic Studios.
Dwayne stated how proud he was to pull on the jersey and play for Ballymena United. He thanked all the managers from Glenn Ferguson to Kenny Shiels, Tommy Wright, Roy Walker, Alfie Stewart and Harry Fay who supported him throughout his career. He went on to state how proud he had felt for such a tremendously supported testimonial year and thanked all those who had worked so hard to make it a success including Alan Francey, Norman McBurney, Ronnie McDowell, Davy Douglas, and Phil Cowen, Ian Durrant and Craig Mulholland of Glasgow Rangers who had contributed so much to the actual testimonial match.