People always talk of Linfield being a family club and people always talk about being brought up to support the club by their father and their grandfather. It is endearing to see the current generations bringing their offspring up in the Linfield tradition and if ever one photograph embodied the spirit of the Linfield tradition being passed down through the family generations it is surely the one below.
This photo was featured in the 'Spotlight on our Supporters' section in Saturday's 'Look at Linfield' against Ballymena United and it is reproduced here with the approval of Jim Haughey.
(Left to right - Eva Haughey (5th generation supporter), Suzanne Haughey (4th generation supporter), Jim Haughey (3rd generation supporter), Jim Haughey Senior (2nd generation supporter)
Jim's fascinating replies to the questions in the profile page of the programme are reproduced here with his approval.
Year of Birth; 1952
Home town; Belfast
Supporters club; none
Where do you sit in Windsor Park; Kop Stand
How long have you supported the Blues; since 1964
Can you recall your first match; Only vaguely – my grandfather took me to see the Blues v Distillery at Windsor. It was freezing cold and I was shaking so much, I was taken home early in the second half ! I have no idea who won.
Who influenced you most; My father because of all the stories he told me of matches before the war, the players, the teams, the matches against Belfast Celtic.
Did you idolise any particular player? In the early days it was Ronnie Woods and Phil Scott, skilful players who could also score. Sammy Pavis was everybody's hero for the sheer number of goals. Sammy Hatton was a rock in the middle. 'Buckets' McGaughey and Billy Millen were heroes because they led the line with style and quality.
Who is your current favourite player? Jamie Mulgrew because he brings order to the midfield – when Jamie plays well, the Blues play well, a player with skill and vision. He should have got a chance in England.
Who is your all time great (and why)? Two! Billy Ferguson and Noel Bailie. Never give up, never say die, players who were small in stature, but who were the embodiment of the Linfield spirit.
What other Irish League players from the past do you most admire (and why)? Jim Cleary and Eric Ross of Glentoran - skill and style with the ability to think several moves ahead – although I didn’t admire them at the time! At the other end of the scale, the original hatchetmen, Norman Pavis and Walter McFarland of Crusaders, players who you hated to play against - their motto was ‘No Pasaran’ !
And the present? Paul Heatley at Crusaders, a fine player. Martin Donnelly at Cliftonville is very skilful as is Gary Hamilton at Glenavon. If I had to pick one, Jordan Stewart at the Glens is still very young but is clearly a stunning prospect.
What is your favourite away ground and why? Glenavon – a good pitch, good viewing position, new seats, good floodlights, it’s all there.
Most memorable occasion following Linfield? Any Boxing Day victory against the Glens !
If you had unlimited funds, who would you buy? James Rodriguez of Real Madrid and Colombia, he’s a fine all round player, still very young with many years at the top ahead.
Do you support any other team in England or Scotland? I have a soft spot for Newcastle United having followed them for two seasons many years ago when I lived in Newcastle, but I wouldn’t call myself a supporter.
What was the best Linfield goal you have ever seen? Billy Millen against Manchester City, considering the quality of the opposition and the importance of the match.
What appeals to you most about Linfield? My grandfather came from Donegal around 1901 and began to support Linfield, so I am a third generation Linfield supporter. My two children are fourth generation, and my granddaughter now fifth generation (see picture) It’s in the blood, a Linfield family for over 100 years - help! I now sponsor Mark Haughey’s away shirt – how could I do anything else, the only Haughey ever to play for Linfield !
What appeals to you most about the Irish League? The players are mostly genuine people who largely play for love of the game – there are no millionaire players here. Plus they are nearly all local lads who remain in touch with supporters, whether they like it or not! I think the standard has come up substantially in recent seasons and I have seen some terrific games, even when we lose – look at Mark McAllister’s goal for Portadown against us – if that was in the premier league it would be goal of the month. In the same match Jimmy Callacher had a fantastic 25 yard free kick saved by the goalie, all great stuff.
If you would like to be featured in a 'Spotlight on our supporters' feature in a forthcoming issue of 'Look at Linfield' forward your replies to the above questions to email@example.com