Ballynahinch United 50th Anniversary Dinner

Last Friday night Ballynahinch United celebrated the club’s 50th anniversary with a gala dinner in the Millbrook Lodge Hotel. There was an attendance of one hundred and forty which included present and former players as well as their families. Club Chairman Gilbert Cromie welcomed those present and during his opening remarks he requested a moments silence which was respectively observed in memory of former club members.

A great reception was given to Gareth Bingham, Scott Brashaw, Anto Greene, Ross Hayes and Steven Jess who had conceived and organised the event on behalf of the club. Gilbert then introduced the host for the evening Liam Beckett the BBC Radio Ulster soccer and motor cycle racing commentator and pundit who entertained before and after the dinner. Prior to the food being served a representative of the Anthony Nolan Trust, the nominated charity on the night, gave a short talk on the work of the charity.

After the dinner Liam Beckett regaled those present with a series of humorous stories from his days as a player with Crusaders, Drogheda and Coleraine and as a mechanic with the motor cycling legends Joey and Robert Dunlop which were extremely entertaining.

Newry & Mourne and Down Council Chairman Mark Murnin was invited to make a number of presentations to club stalwarts Winston Brown and Jimmy Brown in recognition of their outstanding service to the club. Winston, the Club President, has been involved with the club for forty nine years undertaking a wide range of roles mostly related to the upkeep of the various club grounds from Fees Field in Dromara to Millbridge. Jimmy has for over thirty years maintained the Millbridge grounds and pavilion whilst also having carried out all manner of building, plastering and plumbing works.

A presentation was also made to Robert Creighton who is one of the clubs most dedicated and enthusiastic supporter. The club received gifts from Mervyn Martin, a former player, on behalf of the Northern Amateur Football League and Robert Howarth on behalf of the Newcastle & District Football League.

The Club Chairman referred to the outstanding service which the Hamilton family had given to the club over the half century. The late Billy who passed away last December had served the club as a player, Secretary, Trustee and league representative. His wife Sally who attends most home matches in the present day has supported the club faithfully over the years as well as undertaking a number of practical activities so vital to its running. Billy Junior was a very successful manager during the club’s years in the junior football while Graham still holds the accolade of being the all-time leading scorer. Wilson remains a dedicated committee member and supporter following a very successful playing career which included being in the clubs historic Border Cup winning team. In recognition of this outstanding service Sally accompanied by her sons was invited to unveil a plaque bearing the title ‘The Hamilton Lounge’ which the club has decided that its recreation area should be named.

Prior to the evening’s entertainment which was provide by the Renegades group the results of the raffle were announced for a series of valuable prizes including signed Carl Frampton Boxing Gloves. Northern Ireland, Manchester United, Ulster Rugby, Linfield and Glentoran shirts, football signed by the Manchester City title winning squad and a variety of other prizes.

Everyone at Ballynahinch United was absolutely delighted with the success of the evening which it felt was a very fitting way to commence its 50th anniversary season. The number of former players from all the five decades who attended was so encouraging and the complementary remarks which have been made since have been much appreciated by those who organised the evening.

The club would like to express its gratitude to BEC Electrical who were the main event sponsors, Peninsula Print, M.E. Crowe Ltd, AAD Brickwork, Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Ulster Property Sales, MMM Design & Build, Auto Valet, Carryduff Concrete, Kenneth Burtney and Somerville’s for sponsoring tables and Kelvin Graham, Lilliput and McClure’s Funeral Services for their valuable help with other aspects related to the night. Many thanks also to club man Shaun Bonner for preparing the on screen photographic display and the staff of the Millbrook Lodge Hotel who could not have been more helpful during the planning stage and on the night.

A souvenir brochure was produced to mark the 50th anniversary and this can be obtained from the clubhouse on match days for a very modest charge of £2.

Ballynahinch United Border Cup winners reminiscing
Ballynahinch United Border Cup winners reminiscing
BUFC players Johnny Stevenson, Kevin Kew, Adam Herron, Ross Hayes, Scott Brashaw and Gareth Bingham
BUFC players
Johnny Stevenson, Kevin Kew, Adam Herron, Ross Hayes, Scott Brashaw and Gareth Bingham
Liam Beckett at the BUFC dinner
Liam Beckett at the BUFC dinner
The Hamilton Family - L to R Wilson, Graham, Liam Beckett, Mrs Sally Hamilton, Scott Brashaw, Gareth Bingham, Ross Hayes, Billy Hamilton Jnr, Gilbert Cromie and Mark Murnin
The Hamilton Family – L to R
Wilson, Graham, Liam Beckett, Mrs Sally Hamilton, Scott Brashaw, Gareth Bingham, Ross Hayes, Billy Hamilton Jnr, Gilbert Cromie and Mark Murnin
Jimmy Brown receiving his presentation from Mark Murnin
Jimmy Brown receiving his presentation from Mark Murnin
Mr & Mrs Hugh Hawthorne at the BUFC dinner
Mr & Mrs Hugh Hawthorne at the BUFC dinner
Winston Brown receives his presentation from Mark Murnin
Winston Brown receives his presentation from Mark Murnin

Ballynahinch United 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Ballynahinch United would like to invite all past and present players, managers, officials and supporters to join us for a gala evening to celebrate our 50 year anniversary.

Taking place at 7pm on Friday 19th October 2018 in the Millbrook Lodge, Ballynahinch.

To book tickets, contact Anto 0796 382 2291, Gareth 0752 544 0950 or

Tickets are £40 (single), £75 (couple) or £350 (table of 10).

The night will be hosted by BBC Sport NI pundit Liam Beckett MBE with music from The Renegades on what promises to be a great night. Dress is black tie gala.

Stay tuned for news of some sporting memorabilia which will be raffled off on the evening!


Glynn Robinson appointed first team manager

The club would like to announce the appointment of Glynn Robinson as first team manager. Glynn brings a wealth of experience of amateur league football both as a player and for the last 10 years in various coaching roles, most recently spending the last 2 years at Newcastle. Glynn is also a former United player and so is familiar with the club.

Glynn will be joined by assistant manager Dale Davidson who enjoyed a successful playing career, most notably with Killyleagh YC whom he later also managed.

We would like to wish both men good luck for the season ahead and into the future.

Further announcements regarding pre-season training will follow, where any new players who fancy a change or new challenge would be most welcome.

Applications for vacant 1st Team Manager Position

Following the resignation of Alan Davis as first team manager of Ballynahinch United the Officers, Committee and supporters would like to thank Alan and his management team of Paul Allison and Rab Carlisle for their efforts during the season. Their task had been made very difficult with the loss of a number of players during the close season. Despite this set back significant progress was made with a number of teenagers taking the field and doing outstandingly well and justifying their managers faith in them. The club is delighted that Alan, Paul and Rab will continue to play an active role within the club committee.

The club would like to invite applications for the vacant managers Expressions of interest should be sent to:

The Secretary
Ballynahinch United
25 Magaluf Park
BT23 6DA

or by e-mail to

All applications must be with the Secretary by the 12noon on Thursday 31st May 2018.

The passing of Billy Hamilton Senior

The Trustees, Officers, Committee, members, players and supporters of Ballynahinch United F.C. wish to pass on our condolences to the Hamilton family on the passing of Billy [Senior].

Billy played for United in its very early days however it will be for his administrative role in the club over its almost five decades of existence for which he will best be remembered. Achieving Intermediate status and the ownership of the Millbridge ground stand as a permanent legacy to Billy’s hard work and those who were involved with him. Billy was not just an administrator he was also only too willing to roll up his sleeves and do any task that was required at the club including marking the pitch and putting up the nets well into his eighties. Those tasks stretched back to the club’s early occupancy of Bells Bridge in Dromara and later Langley Road before moving to Millbridge in the 1980’s.

In his role of Secretary Billy represented the club at the Newcastle & District Amateur and Northern Amateur Football League’s to which he also gave great service both as an office holder, committee member and representative on football’s governing bodies the IFA and the County Antrim F.A.

To his widow Sally and sons Billy [Junior], Graham and Wilson [Chico], who have also contributed so much to United, and the wider family circle we offer our sympathy to you at this time.

A service of thanksgiving for Billy’s life took place on Monday 11th December 2017 in Ballynahinch Congregational Church with interment afterwards in the adjoining graveyard.