Spotlight on our supporters programme article - John McDowell

Posted : 2nd November 2013 at 13:24:05

Name - John McDowell

Home-town - Newtownabbey (originally from Larne)

Date of birth - July 4, 1957

Supporters' club (if any) - None

Where do you sit in Windsor Park - South Stand, with my son-in-law, Colin.

How long have you supported the Blues - Since 1980

Can you recall your first match - I can't recall the actual game. I started following the Blues when I moved to Newtownabbey from Larne in 1980 and what a great first season that was, as we won five trophies with that brilliant Roy Coyle inspired team. There was no weakness in that team and only the County Antrim Shield eluded us in that most memorable and magnificent of seasons.

Who influenced you most - No-one in particular. I always had an affiliation to the Blues.

Did you idolise any particular player (and why) - Noel Bailie for his outstanding and loyal service in over 1000 games and Peter Rafferty. The "Bald Eagle" was a legendary and inspirational leader.

Who is your current favourite player (and why) - Michael Gault and Jamie Mulgrew who both always give 100% for the cause.

Who is your all-time great (and why) - Lindsay McKeown, a classy midfielder or sweeper who starred in what was my favourite Linfield team from that never to be forgotten 1980/81 season.

What other Irish League player from the past do you most admire (and why) - Mal Donaghy who moved from my hometown club, Larne to Luton Town and Victor Moreland who was a real class defender in the Irish League.

And the present - William Murphy, a winner, a leader and a great example to any young player.

What is your favourite away ground and why - Coleraine, a nice, compact stadium that always seems to generate a good atmosphere.

Most memorable occasion following Linfield - Meeting the Seven Trophy Legends at the 50th Anniversary Reunion in 2012. I particularly enjoyed meeting Bobby Braithwaite who I found to be a real gentleman. I also enjoyed the Irish Cup final victory against Dungannon as my daughter and her husband were with me on that day.

If you had unlimited funds, who would you buy - Flamini of Arsenal or a modern day Willie Woodburn, the great Rangers defender from the 40s and 50s.

Do you support any other team in England or Scotland - Rangers and Arsenal.

What was the best Linfield goal you ever saw and by whom - So many but I'd pick a cracker of goal this season by James Knowles against Cliftonville at Windsor Park. A superbly executed free kick.

What appeals to you most about Linfield - I enjoy being in the company of so many good friends and family members. I've also got to know so many friendly players and staff.

What appeals to you most about the Irish League - The commitment and 100% effort of all the players in all the teams. It's trendy to criticise the league but the players don't get the credit they deserve - in comparison to some of the over hyped prima donnas in other leagues such as the Premiership.

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