Down memory lane... Who won the Ironside Cup six times in a row?

Greenwood FC after beating Co Down Rangers 2-1 in the Sloan Cup Final May 1986.
Greenwood FC after beating Co Down Rangers 2-1 in the Sloan Cup Final May 1986.

From the bad news to the better achievements. Who won the Ironside Cup a record six times in a row?

It was Suffolk, of course, in their hey days and after the never repeated feat the trophy was handed over by the manufacturer, Eric Lyons, to the club.

They were, indeed, the team to beat during those years and after seeking pastures new they have not done too badly either as they play in Division 2A of the NI Amateur League, which they have won at least once.

The team aspiring for dominance in Suffolk’s latter years and beyond were 112th Old Boys and they did win trophies for a few years before disappearing.

One member of the League committee who is remembered by many, even today, was Sandy Wilson - a straight talker as an official and team manager. Sandy, of course, managed Glenavy and it was an unusual set-up. The management team were members of the Orange Order while many players were Catholic.

It often led to confusion among opponents, who, on occasions, used sectarian chants against the team, much to the amusement of Sandy & Co.

Do you remember the “little man” Gerry Kerr, who formed the Primrose club. He could out-jump anyone on the pitch and later went on to play a major role for Lisburn Rangers in the NI Alliance League before managing them.

You could always find him joining in the craic in the bar after games, but he only drank coke and eat crisps.

Other teams that come to mind are Roseville from the Millbrook area, formed by a late, great friend of mine, Harry Fenton.

Low Road Villa were another team from that area and Greenwood from the County Down was run by Roy Sloan, who was delighted when Greenwood won the Sloan Cup, presented by the Sloan family. It went missing for a time before being found at Ironside Trophies.

Hilden Rec were well-known in the Low Road area, firstly playing in the Amateur League with some great players - Jackie Simpson, Walter Allen, Tom McCloy and Frankie McCaugherty to name a few.

After folding for a while they re-formed as Hilden Rec in the Lisburn League and had a very good team.

Derriaghy Cricket Club were in the Lisburn League for several years but decided to move on to the Amateur League, where they have been successful recently and play in the Premier Division.

Dromore Utd were members for some years, but surprisingly that is no longer an option for the South Antrim League.

The Dons entered the League with the queries on where the name came from. No they are not University Dons but were formed by Don McMahon. They now play in Mid Ulster.

Finaghy Utd and Sporting Lisburn are teams now in Mid Ulster, while Braniel YM did reasonably well in the Lisburn League, but last year poaching of their players forced them out of South Antrim.

Warren YM, of course, played with some success in the old Lisburn League and when it was disbanded joined the South Antrim League.

Jeff Robinson was secretary of the League or many years and he did a great job. There are, undoubtedly, several top people who I have overlooked.

My apologies, but the memory is not so good now. If you want to mention someone I have missed out feel free and let us know.