Banging the drum for the Belfast Giants

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RATHCOOLE man Alan MacNeice has been banging the drum – literally - for the Belfast Giants.

The 41 year old plays in the unofficial supporters’ band at the ice hockey side’s Odyssey Arena home often in front of thousands of cheering fans.

He has been travelling to home and away games following his team for the past seven seasons.

And as the season nears its climax his team stand a chance of winning an unprecedented league, cup and play-off treble.

“I was dragged along by my girlfriend to a game,” said Alan.

“I have always been a big fan of American and Canadian hockey, but I thought British hockey would just be slow and boring.

“But within 30 seconds I was hooked and in seven years I have not missed a single home game.”

Alan plays drums with seven others in the unofficial band in the ‘Frank Carson Corner’ of the Odyssey.

“Don’t ask me why it’s called that, but it’s a title it’s had since I’ve been going,” continued Alan.

“None of us had ever played the drums before, so it can be a bit rough at times.

“It’s more about having a laugh and supporting the team.”

Read the full story in this week’s TIMES...