THE series of articles published under the strapline ‘Omagh Town:The Rise and Fall’ which told the history of the one time senior club through the eyes of the club’s long-serving secretary Pat McGlinchey in recent weeks has provoked a massive response.
On the whole the stories of the last five weeks have been extremely well received by most although it’s fair to say that there has been one or two dissenting voices.
Judging by the reaction it has taken many supporters, officials, players and others within the community for an enjoyable and nostalgic trip down memory lane. That, I suppose, was one of the main objectives for running the series and approaching Mr McGlinchey in the first place.
Why McGlinchey? Why not former boss Roy McCreadie, Eamonn Kavanagh, the club’s longest serving player or Terry Patterson who was the resident hack at St Julian’s during those senior years?
Until now and despite having watched Omagh Town from the terraces on and off over a number of years, I can’t remember ever having a casual conversation with the former secretary let alone interview him.
So why not McGlinchey? He had served ‘The Town’ for the best part of 30 years and in that time had been through it all – the highs, the lows and everywhere else in between. In many respects Pat McGlinchey was quite possibly the glue that held Omagh Town together as long as it did and when controversy invariably raised it’s ugly head, most notably during and after the glamour games in 1999, the club secretary was the individual more often than not in the firing line.
Given that there is divided opinion on Pat McGlinchey, I’m sure many eyebrows have been raised at giving him the platform to have his say.
Truth is I simply felt Pat McGlinchey was a man with a story to tell and that has been endorsed by the widespread feedback, both locally and on social media.
‘Omagh Town: The Rise and Fall’ was always going to be one man’s story, a particular narrative, but it has nevertheless been truly fascinating.
I’m convinced there is more to tell about Omagh Town, much more to tell but now is not the right time. There might never be a right time.
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S ULSTER HERALD.