Image: Some of the McDonald’s 30 Clubs for 30 Years with McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings and McDonald’s Franchisee John McCollum.
30 grassroots football clubs from across Northern Ireland have been named as winners of the McDonald’s ‘30 Clubs for 30 Years’.
The one-off award which commemorates the 30th birthday of McDonald’s in Northern Ireland celebrates the impact that local grassroots football clubs have had both on and off the pitch across the last 30 years.
Each recipient of the award was presented with a special football pack containing more than £300 worth of football training equipment that will greatly benefit the clubs. The award packs were given out by Northern Ireland legend and McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings at a private event held in The Pat Jennings Lounge at the National Stadium.
The winners of the McDonald’s 30 Clubs for 30 Years are:
- Albert Foundry FC
- Andersonstown Community FC
- Antrim Rovers Football Club
- Ards Rangers Juniors
- Ballymacash Rangers FC
- Ballymoor FC
- Bangor Swifts Juniors FC
- Barn United Youth Academy
- Belfast Celtic Young Men & Ladies FC
- Caledon Rovers Youth FC
- Castle Juniors FC
- Craigavon City
- Draperstown Celtic FC
- Dungiven Celtic
- Dungoyne Youth FC
- Glenavy Youth Football Club
- Greenisland FC
- Lisnaskea Rovers
- Mid Ulster Ladies FC
- NFC Kesh
- Ridgeway Rovers FC
- Sandy Row Football Club
- Sion Swifts
- St Malachy’s Old Boys Youth FC
- Strabane Athletic FC
- Sunnyside FC
- Tristar Boys' FC
- Valley Rangers FC
- Windmill Stars
- Willowbank FC
John McCollum, McDonald’s Franchisee, said: “To mark our 30th birthday in Northern Ireland we wanted to recognise those clubs that have gone above and beyond to maximise the impact they have – be it on the lives of young people through Fun Football or through wider community initiatives.
“Over the past 30 years McDonald’s has made a strong impact on communities across Northern Ireland, not only by creating and sustaining over 3,000 jobs across our restaurant estate in Northern Ireland but through a wide range of charitable and community partnerships, such as the Fun Football programme.
“Our partnership with the Irish FA on the McDonald’s Fun Football programme is so important to us and highlights our commitment to fostering the development of football for all in Northern Ireland.”
McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings added: “Congratulations to all of the McDonald’s 30 Clubs for 30 Years, who have all worked tirelessly down the years to keep the local grassroots game alive in their local communities.
“I have greatly enjoyed meeting with these grassroots heroes in-person again after what has been a challenging period for us all. Through the years, I have witnessed first-hand the unwavering commitment of these volunteers and the impact they have had and continue to have on the lives of young people in Northern Ireland.
“I’m looking forward to celebrating with all of the award nominees and winners next month at the annual McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards.”
The annual McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards, which celebrate 21 years in Northern Ireland this year, recognise the incredible work and commitment of football clubs and volunteers who give up their time and make a long-lasting impact on young people and communities across Northern Ireland.
Through the McDonald’s Fun Football programme more than 75,000 children across Northern Ireland have benefitted from 250,000 hours of coaching, games and fun.
McDonald’s recently celebrated the huge milestone of providing five million hours of free Fun Football to children in the UK a year ahead of its 2022 goal, before vowing to offer 1.5 million more hours in the next 12 months.