Cranford AC celebrate 50 years

Cranford Athletic Club celebrated 50 years with their Awards Night and Anniversary Book at the weekend.

Cranford Athletic Club celebrated 50 years with their Awards Night and Anniversary Book at the weekend.

Our club sponsor the Corncutters Rest provided the venue for celebrations held on Friday and Saturday night. As Master of Ceremonies on both evenings Myles Gallagher set the scene for an enjoyable and historic weekend marking the last fifty years and opening the new chapter of Cranford’s history.

The Club Presentation of Awards was first to take place with a number of awards being presented to our current athletes, coaches, committee, former athletes and supporters of the club. The awards were:

Individual 50th Anniversary Appreciation Awards were presented to all registered juvenile athletes.

Appreciation Awards were also presented to all members of the current Club Committee.

Best Attender: Michelle McDevitt.

Most Improved Athlete of the Year: Ronan Gallagher.

Club Person of the Year: John Murray.

Achievement Award: Karen Gallagher.

Achievement Award: Claire Murray.

Joint Best Juvenile Track & Field Athletes of the Year Award: Lisa Dugera & Aoibhe Gallagher.

Joint Best Juvenile Boy of the Year Award: Conor and Stephen Black.

Best Juvenile Girl Athlete of the Year Award: Lucy Backus.

Best Masters Athlete of the Year Award: PJ Boyce.

Honorary Life Membership of Cranford Athletic Club: Bridie Trearty and Rose Gavaghan.

A number of significant individuals that shaped the formation and development of Cranford AC over the past fifty years were honoured with awards and provided our current group of athletes with words of inspiration and encouragement. These were: Danny McDaid; Paddy Marley; Judge Sean McBride; Hugo Duggan; John Carlin; Mayor Noel McBride; Francis Diver; Myles Gallagher; Danny Lafferty; Councillor Dessie Larkin; Jerry Gallagher and Joe Boyce. Brian McDaid from the Donegal Democrat was also thanked and indeed the support from all our local media acknowledged by Eamon Giles.

Centre stage on Saturday evening was Eamon Giles and the achievements of Cranford Athletic Club. The large crowd in attendance were treated to a premiere of a previously unseen video of a Cranford AC race meeting some thirty years ago. Memories evoked of those now since passed away and shared happy times together no better way to launch the book ‘Cranford Athletic Club Fifty Years and Still Running’.

Patsy McGonagle joined with the group of former athletes in attendance and commended Eamon and Cranford Athletic Club in achieving this significant milestone noting that athletics in Donegal and indeed around Ireland are indebted to Eamon for his pivotal role in the development of organised athletics in the country.

The book itself is an extremely interesting collection of notable events and achievements for the club and athletes and goes some way to depict the numerous Cranford Athletic Club stories and successes. The book can be purchased by getting in touch with any Cranford AC member and is very reasonably priced at €10.

Danny Lafferty was acknowledged for his sponsorship and encouragement in commissioning the book. The club are extremely grateful for Danny’s interest and continued patronage of Cranford AC. The club would also to thank Conor McGonagle for his attendance and support for the celebrations.

he book is a journal of an inspirational journey of a club that has a significant legacy in Donegal and in Ireland, however the living proof and inspiration for the next fifty years is already sown in the hearts and minds of our current athletes and coaches, led by Eamon Giles, a man who has made ‘A Difference’ who has stepped up and committed to each and every Cranford athlete that has been part of that fifty year history.

This passion for sport, the enthusiasm and dedication to our youth is a quality that is extremely rare within an individual but in hearing the cheers, whistles and roars from all of our juvenile athletes (and from many of our oldies!) when Eamon was called to address the ceremonies, is something that we at Cranford value immensely and all greatly appreciate and would like to thank Eamon for everything that he does and indeed Ernie, Rose and Bridie too. Their unfailing and tireless work, week in and year out, is an outstanding statement to a passion and commitment for athletics that will build and develop the club into the next fifty years. Congratulations to all and every good wish for all involved at Cranford Athletic Club.