THE memory of a stalwarth of soccer in Mountmellick for more than three decades, the late Billy Hyland, will be preserved with a cup named in his honour which will be used as for the CCFL Premier Division cup competition.
His family and former work colleagues from the Midlands Prison formally presented presented the CCFL with the Cup named in his honour on Monday night last.
Billy was synonymous with soccer in Mountmellick over more than 30 years where he was involved firstly as a player and laterly as a coach and manager.
He was tragically killed in 2010 when he was knocked down while out for a cycle on a Sunday morning having only recently retired from the prison service. His death was not only a great loss to his family, friends and work colleagues, it was also felt by the wider soccer community across the midlands where he was held in great esteem.
Speaking at the presentation of the memorial trophy, CCFL Chairman Jim Kelly said he was delighted to accept the trophy on behalf of the league and he paid tribute to the late Mr Hyland’s work colleagues for their fundraising efforts. Mr Kelly also confirmed that the final between Gallen Utd and Melville Utd will be played in Mountmellick.
Brendan Spillane, one of Mr Hyland’s former colleagues, said it was ‘a great honour’ for himself, Brendan Mooney and Dan O’Loughlin to be associated with the presentation of the cup. He said it was in honour ‘of our great friend colleague Billy Hyland’ who he noted was known as ‘the hero’.
He commented, “We have great memories of what Billy achieved and what he brought to us. He was a man of great character and will always be fondly remembered.” He paid particular tribute to the efforts of Dan O’Loughlin who he said ‘spearheaded the drive to get the cup here’.
Mr Spillane concluded by saying they were ‘greatly honoured’ to be associated with the cup and he wished the best of luck to the teams who would compete for it in years to come.