Council considers lasting tribute to rugby legend McBride

Rugby legend: Willie John McBride MBE.
Rugby legend: Willie John McBride MBE.

Newtownabbey Borough Council is considering naming one of its leisure facilities after rugby legend Willie John McBride.

The former Ireland and British and Irish Lions lock was inducted into the Newtownabbey Sporting Hall of Fame in 2002 and is now the chairman of the local authority’s Sports Awards Committee.

At Monday night’s (January 19) Leisure Committee meeting, UUP Cllr Fraser Agnew suggested that naming one of the borough’s leisure facilities after the rugby legend would be a fitting tribute to the Ballyclare man.

Describing him as “a great ambassador for Newtownabbey”, Cllr Agnew pointed out that well known sports stars from other parts of Northern Ireland have had leisure facilities and buildings named after them.

Cllr John Scott, who also sits on the Sports Awards Committee, agreed that Dr McBride “should be honoured in some way like this.”

“He takes a great interest in everything that is going on in the borough - not just sport,” he told the meeting.

Council officers agreed to investigate the matter and report back to the committee.