Q1 - What Clubs have you played for in your career?
Distillery, Dunmurry Rec (2 spells), H&W Welders (2 spells), Carrick Rangers (2 spells), Bangor.
Q2 - What football honours (inc representative matches) have you achieved in your career?
Captained H&W Welders to 2 x Intermediate Cup and Smirnoff Cup wins.
Junior International 2003 squad in Assen/Holland.
Q3 - Tell us a bit about your football career prior to playing for Carrick Rangers.
I made my Irish League debut for Distillery at 16 where I spent 5 years before moving to Dunmurry Rec. From there I went to H&W Welders where I captained the side for 4 years before being persuaded to sign for Carrick Rangers by close friend Davy Mallon.
Q4 - What are your main memories of your time at Carrick?
I loved every minute of my time at Carrick. We had an amazing camaraderie and some fantastic squads. The banter was fantastic and that ran through not only the players but our managers at the time, Frazer Evans and Jim O'Rourke. Even our committee and supporters shared in it.
Both Frazer and Jim worked tirelessly to improve the quality of the squad and it showed when we were able to attract some big/great players. My only regret was not winning something to reward the hard work put it. Half of my team then are still some of my best mates now.
Q5 - Who would have been the best player you played with at Carrick?
I played with some fantastic players and it's hard to pick out one. Big Keyhole (Paul Kee) was immense in goals, Taggs (Glenn Taggart) was just home from Wimbledon and was an amazing talent, Kyle Neill at left back, just look at the career he's had, John McGrath did things with a ball that just baffled you, and was rightly rewarded with a move to the Blues. The Ghost (Graeme Arthur) had the ability to change a game in a second, Gavin Treanor, Crawfy McRae, Oatsy (Stuart Owens) - the list goes on but the player who stood out the most and who made it look so easy was Connor McCaffrey. Carrick’s version of Baresi at the back. Never trained but didn't need to.
Q6 - Any funny moments while playing for Carrick?
Two come to mind.
First one was at Inver Park. Big Ruby (Gary Murray) was playing up front. I think we were behind and weren't playing well. Somebody from the crowd shouted "Get big Ruby on", to which one of us shouted back “He is on”. Same boy shouted "Really? Well get him off then!".
Second one was in Jackie Kerr’s house in Finaghy. We'd always end up back at each other's houses either before or after we went on the beers on a Saturday night. Jackie had a wee crush on himself, always spick and span, never a hair out of place. Anyhow, it was there when John McGrath did a bit of noseying about and we found the secret of his youth in his bathroom cabinet. A 24 year old using Elvis blue hair dye, still gets called it today. #priceless.
Q7 - What did you do, footballing-wise after leaving Taylors Avenue?
I left Carrick to go to Bangor. I remember it like it was yesterday. We'd played them the Saturday before and lost. The Police had to come on at half time to get big Kirk Hunter off the pitch. They’d a boy called Gary Sliney(ex Cliftonville) in midfield and there was no love lost between them both.
Anyhow, Frazer Evans called me in on Thursday night before training and said Alan Frazer had asked permission to speak to me. I didn't want to go but our money had stopped and the club was struggling. I don't know if they got a fee for me but after training I went to Clandeboye and met Alan and Eric Bowyer as well as their chairman. They had big plans and the money they offered me was crazy so reluctantly I agreed to sign. First person to welcome me was Gary Sliney!
I had 3 seasons at Bangor and reluctantly Lee Doherty let me go. From there it was back to the Welders, then to Dundela, before finishing up in the Amateur League.
Q8 - And what about now? What are you up to?
At the minute all my time is spent with my youngest daughter, Amy. She’s the wee boy I never had. Currently plays for Linfield U15 girls team and is part of the 2005 N.Ireland girls development squad. Unlike her daddy though, she has a bit of guile about her game. A real player in the middle of the park.
Q9 - What advice would you give to a young player just setting out on their footballing career?
If I could offer advice it would be the same I give to Amy - enjoy every minute of it. The facilities and quality of coaching is all in place. There is a path set out and only you can decide if you want to follow it with hard work, dedication, and the want to succeed.
Q10 - What is your best Carrick XI made up of players that you played with?
Gavin Treanor/Stuart Owens