Fair Play Trophy - a fitting tribute to David McClarty

Milk Cup chairman Victor Leonard with Norma McClarty and the David McClarty Fair Play Trophy.
Milk Cup chairman Victor Leonard with Norma McClarty and the David McClarty Fair Play Trophy.
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As we all know football was very much part and parcel of the busy life of the late David McClarty.

The independent Assembly member for East Londonderry, who died last Easter, was a fervent supporter of the Milk Cup over the years, assisting organisers in fighting a case for the support of government and other bodies.

David, who was a keen Manchester United and Coleraine fan, will be remembered by the establishment this year of a Fair Play Trophy.

The award was suggested by Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt at the time of David’s death.

He said: “David was immensely proud of Coleraine and his constituency which has a rich sporting heritage and he was an ardent supporter of the Milk Cup and what it has achieved since its inception in 1983.”

The award will go to the Ulster County team which has the best aggregated total of sportsmanship points awarded after every game by the referees.

“We think this is an excellent way to encourage players to think about respecting opponents and the best way to do that is through fair play on the field,” said Milk Cup chairman Victor Leonard.

“We will all miss David’s passion and commitment when it comes to the tournament.

“He loved watching matches and helping out with MC duties on occasions.

“He was a wonderful ambassador for us at local Council level as well as at Stormont and beyond.”

Claire Sugden, parliamentary assistant to David, who has now replaced him as an East Londonderry Independent MLA, added: “He loved the competition not only because of its sporting significance but also for the way it brings people from across the world together right on our doorstep.”