Spotlight on our supporters programme article - Ernie Cunningham

Posted : 14th December 2013 at 14:02:03

Name: Ernie Cunningham

Hometown: Belfast (still refer to as home even though most of my adult life has been spent in England)

Year of Birth: 1947

Supporters Club (if any): N/A

Where do you sit in Windsor Park? Used to sit in front of press box. (can remember when press box was without the glass windows)

Can you recall your first match? No but it was pre Jackie Millburn days.

How long have you supported the Blues? Since my father took me to matches as a primary schoolboy over fifty years ago.

Who influenced you most? My father who encouraged me to play sports when young as he said there will be plenty of times later in life to be a spectator and Tony McKnight who was my athletic coach at Annadale Striders.

Did you idolise any player? As I am from the older generation it would have to be Tommy Dickson.

Who is your favourite current player? Do not see enough of team playing to make a decision.

Who is your all time great? Tommy Dickson but if Jackie Milburn had stayed at the club for two or three more seasons he would have been in contention. Of players I never watched Rab Milne and Joe Bambrick would be difficult to overlook.

What other Irish League player from the past do you admire? Terry Conroy who had a short career in the Irish League with Glentoran and is still revered in Stoke.

And the present? Do not see enough Irish League football to make a decision.

What is your favourite away ground? The old Grosvenor Park was an excellent ground for atmosphere.

Most memorable occasion supporting Linfield? The crowds along the parade route and in Belfast city centre for the 1961/62 seven trophy winning team/squad.

If you had unlimited funds who would you buy? With my unlimited funds I would not buy a player but invest in infrastructure for the development of young/teenage full time trainees so that the club could make a serious attempt at senior full time status.

Do you support any other team? Apart from when I arrived in England as a student over forty years ago and watched the local lower division club I have never attached support to any club. Last matches attended were in the Wessex league most recent being Winchester City against Bournemouth Poppies with just over one hundred other spectators.

What was the best Linfield goal you ever seen? Jackie Milburn taking the ball from about the centre spot and going straight down the field at incredible pace beating all defenders and hitting a daisy cutter into the net from just inside the box.

What appeals to you most about Linfield? We are always feared by the other Irish League clubs irrespective of current form.

What appeals to you most about the Irish League? In general it is honest football with few prima donnas. When the first Irish League match was televised on Sky it was liked by English people in the pub because they though it was players who tackled and received tackles without the histrionics that we get in the English Premier League.

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