Sign up to the Irish FA Newsletter today

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the Irish FA including ticket updates, match information, competitions, articles and much more.
Thank you

Friday 15 Dec 2023
Keeping it in the family: Local McDonald’s restaurants awarded top prize

The McDonald’s restaurants in north Belfast have been collectively crowned as the ‘Football Restaurant of the Year’ at the McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards.

This award recognises the McDonald’s restaurant or restaurants in Northern Ireland that go above and beyond to provide crucial support and partnership to local grassroots football clubs. This year, for the first time ever, this award was picked up by three McDonald’s restaurants in the same group – Abbey Centre, Shore Road and Glengormley.

Tina Anthony, Customer Experience Lead at the McDonald’s restaurant on the Shore Road, is no stranger to the grassroots system in Northern Ireland, having watched her nephew Ross McCausland rise through the grassroots ranks before turning professional.

Ross, who began his career at Ballymena United, joined Linfield before securing a move to Scotland with Rangers last year. 

It has been a whirlwind two weeks for Ross, who recently received his first call-up to the Northern Ireland senior men’s squad and made his debut against Finland. Having also impressed at club level for Rangers, he committed his future to the club by signing a long-term contract until 2027. Last week he capped off an eventful fortnight by scoring his first goal for Rangers in the UEFA Europa League.

Proud auntie, Tina Anthony, said: “I know personally how important it is to support local grassroots football clubs, having watched Ross thrive in the system before securing his dream move. 

“A career in football or any sport starts at grassroots, so it’s brilliant to see the huge impact McDonald’s and the Irish FA are making in communities across Northern Ireland.

“However, football is a sport for all. Not everyone who plays at grassroots level will play professionally, so it is important to keep encouraging all young people to give it a go – regardless of their background or age, their gender, or their natural ability for the sport. 

“The McDonald’s franchisees across Northern Ireland have always demonstrated huge support to their local grassroots football clubs, and that is proven by the fierce competition every year for the Football Restaurant of the Year award.

“We’re delighted to win this award, and we hope to continue championing our local grassroots clubs in north Belfast long into the future.”

The McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards, which took place recently at Belfast City Hall, are celebrating 23 years in Northern Ireland this year. The event recognises the unbelievable 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.

Northern Ireland legend Pat Jennings added: “Having been a Fun Football Ambassador for almost twenty years now, I have witnessed first-hand the significant impact that McDonald’s Fun Football has had, and continues to have, on the lives of young people in Northern Ireland.

“I have also seen the crucial support that the McDonald’s Franchisees from across Northern Ireland have provided to local grassroots football clubs, be that kits or essential football equipment, or even by hosting community events. It’s very encouraging to see, and long may it continue.”