The announcement of the latest recipient of the prestigious Torrans Trophy was made at the Gala awards event at the Europa hotel in Belfast city centre on Saturday night.
The award is the equivalent of an induction into the club’s Hall of Fame, with the recipient being awarded legendary status as one of the club’s All-Time Greats.
The award is named after the Torrans brothers who were among the founding fathers of the club back in the 1880s.
The recipient of the award is determined each year by the club’s Board of directors and the 16th legend to have been presented with the prestigious trophy is the hugely popular Pat Fenlon.
Pat signed for Linfield as a stylish midfielder in January 1994. He went on to win an Irish League winners’ medal at the end of that most dramatic of seasons.
Pat scored the first of Linfield’s two goals on the final day victory against Glentoran at Windsor Park which, together with the famous 2-2 draw between Glenavon and Portadown, meant that Linfield were crowned league champions in the most unforgettable of circumstances.
A week later, Pat was on the scoresheet again, as the league title success was followed up with victory over Bangor in the Irish Cup Final.
Pat earned another Irish cup winners’ medal a year later, as Linfield defeated Carrick Rangers, again at the Oval.
In 2018 Pat returned to Windsor Park for a second spell - this time as the club’s first general manager. He was a popular and effective behind the scenes appointment, overseeing the club’s progress in the domestic and European arena during this period and introducing greater professionalism across the club, as well as managing the club through the enormous challenges of the Covid pandemic.
Pat Fenlon undertook tremendous work for the club over his four years in the post, leading from the front on our transition to a full-time model and playing a key role in our success during his time in the role. Pat left Linfield in January this year to take up a director of football role at Bohemians FC, closer to his Dublin home.
When the club chairman Roy McGivern announced at Saturday’s Gala awards event that Pat had been awarded this richly deserved honour, Pat received warm applause from the 200 plus supporters and club personnel in attendance at the official club function.
Unfortunately, Pat was unable to be in attendance at Saturday night’s event, due to unavoidable personal commitments. However, Pat has advised club officials of his pride and delight at having this prestigious honour bestowed upon him.
He intends being present at an early season game at Windsor Park when he can thank the club in person for honouring him in this very special way.
Linfield chairman Roy McGivern and Pat’s replacement as general manager, David Graham were Pat’s guests at Friday’s Premier League game between Bohemians and Derry City at Dalymount Park in Dublin.
Pat was presented with the Torrans Trophy on the Dalymount Park pitch before the game (which the visitors won 1-0) and the photo of the presentation follows below.
As can also be seen from the second photo below, this induction into Hall of Fame status which this award involves, brings with it the Honour of the presentation of Life Membership and Pat was presented with his Life Members ticket at the same time as he received the Torrans Trophy.
There is no doubt that Pat Fenlon is a fitting choice for this award to be bestowed upon and there is no doubt that the news of this honour has been well received, both within and outside the club.
Pat Fenlon deserves his place among the list of all time greats whose names below are engraved alongside his name on the hugely prestigious Torrans Trophy.
The previous recipients of this prestigious award have been
Noel Bailie MBE