2015 Sports Stars Honoured…
SATURDAY evening’s Ulster Herald celebration of the remarkable achievements of our local sports stars and teams proved yet another memorable occasion.
By Tommy Nethery
Year on year the annual sporting extravaganza, once again generously backed by primary sponsor Main Street, just gets bigger and better, a fact endorsed in that the eagerly-anticipated occasion was officially a sellout days before our outstanding performers took centre stage.
UTV’s popular weather man Frank Mitchell again conducted proceedings with his usual efficiency and panache as he revealed an impressive cast of worthy winners and outstanding achievers.
Heading the star-studded line-up was UK Open bowling champion Gary McNabb who was officially crowned the 2015 Ulster Herald Sports Personality of the Year.
Last year the Dromore man also won 10 Champion of Champions qualifying tournaments and in making his international debut helped Ireland retain the Home Nations title in Aberdeen.
The Young Sports Personality of the Year prize went to Lee Brennan, the Gaelic football star, whose scoring prowess helped to fire both Tyrone under-21s and Trillick St Macartans to glory in 2015.
The latest Hall of Fame inductee was legendary motorsport champion Ken Irwin from Castlederg, a former stunt driver on the popular TV show Top Gear.
One of the most popular winners was Philip Anderson who throughout 2015 ran a total of 57 marathons, running over a marathon a week to raise funds for The Mary Anderson Foundation, named in honour of his late wife. Philip picked up the Special Achievement Award.
Another sports star, who received a rousing welcome to the stage was Recognition Award winner, Nuala Browne, who won two silver medals in kayaking at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles last summer.
On the night there was also success for two Gaelic football teams. The All-Ireland winning Tyrone U21s were named Young Team of the Year, while the Tyrone and Ulster title winning Glenelly Ladies were thrilled to pick up the Senior Team of the Year gong.
The budding young jockeys from McClintock PS, Seskinore who have swept all before them, were selected as School of the Year, and Omagh Wheelers sped off with the Club of the Year accolade after a superb 2015.
The 14th annual awards were again sponsored by Main Street, Omagh, with Doherty Group, Ecclesville Printing Services Ltd, Hamilton’s Spar, JMG Systems, and Lairdesign sponsoring individual categories.