Tributes paid to Killowen legend Willie John Fleming

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TIMES Sport would like to express their deepest sympathies to the family of Willie John Fleming, who passed away last week.

Well known in footballing circles, Willie John was a former Coleraine Crusaders manager.

He also managed the victorious Killowen Buncrana Cup team alongside Davy Cochrane.

A well known figure around Killowen, Willie John will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.

Macosquin FC supremo, Jim White, who ran the Balmer Cup for many years paid tribute to Willie John, he said: “On behalf of myself and Barry White and everyone connected with the Balmer Cup we were very sorry to hear of the death of Willie John.

“He was a great football man and a great supporter of the Balmer Cup and the game in area.”

Willie John’s Coleraine Crusaders won the first of their six Balmer Cups in 1968 when they defeated West End 1-0, then managed by Brian McCrudden.

Jim fondly recalled: “Killowen was empty that night and there were hundreds lined around the we pitch at Macosquin for the final.

“Afterwards they drank the Glebe Bar dry - then run by Jimmy Martin. He had to go to the Salmon Leap to get more drink!

“I have a lot of great memories of Willie John, he did a lot for local football.”