A massive congratulations to Eric Cunningham who won the WJ ‘Paddy’ Patterson Services to Sport Award at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards on Monday past (20th January) at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast.
The award honours an unsung hero who shown commitment and dedication to the administration and promotion of sport. Eric was recognised for his selfless commitment to hockey in Ulster and Ireland for over 50 years, as a player, umpire, administrator and volunteer. Eric has been an integral member of South Antrim Hockey Club, playing well into his 70s and continuing to umpire for the junior sides.
He has also served as Club Chairman and held South Antrim in a financially sound position as Club Treasurer for well over 30 years. Eric has also served as both President and Treasurer of Ulster Hockey.
“When I was at Beechlawn I was able to play for the first team as they only had 10 players.”
“We then amalgamated with South Antrim and its been very enjoyable. That’s why I’m still here. The last time I played a game of hockey, the midfield three had a combined age of 180. Some smart guy said who was the 20 year old.”
“I was still umpiring up until last year when I broke my leg but still Treasurer at the club and I still watch the teams on Saturday. I’ll always miss being out there myself.”