The Coleraine cousin of the new Manchester United manager has spoken of the family’s pride at David Moyes’ achievements.
Dessie Brown was speaking after the current Everton manager was confirmed as the replacement for long-serving Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the season.
Dessie, who is the secretary of Coleraine Football Club, said the province was a home-from-home for his “remarkable” cousin.
Moyes’ late mother Joan and grandmother Mattie were from just down the road in Portrush.
Although born in Scotland, Moyes has great affinity for the area he visited frequently during his childhood.
“For David to be even considered for the post is remarkable. It’s true reward for a guy who has more or less dedicated his life to football,” said Dessie.
“He still does very much like to get over when he can and likes to visit his mum’s grave.”
He said his cousin was just his usual self when they talked last week, despite the magnitude of what was obviously going on in the background.
“Whenever I’m on the phone to him he would always ask how Coleraine [FC] are doing, and when I was talking to him last Thursday night he was asking me how we finished the season,” he said.
As Everton manager, Moyes has been an ardent supporter of the Milk Cup youth football tournament held in the north west – bringing a team to Coleraine in 2007 for the competition’s 25th anniversary and then officially opening last year’s tournament.
On his last trip to the province he said: “It’s like a homecoming for me. My mother was from Portrush and I often come here to visit.
“I love the place and the people. I think she would be very proud of the fact that I am opening the Milk Cup.”
Joan Moyes passed away in 2007 and is buried at Ballywillan graveyard on the outskirts of Portrush.
Her husband David Snr thought it would be a nice tribute to have a summer seat placed near the town’s harbour in her memory and the Moyes family then contacted Coleraine Borough Council who agreed to the request. It was installed in 2008.
Moyes’ new post is likely to strengthen his bonds with Ulster football yet further as Manchester United has a long track record of supporting the Milk Cup.