THE outstanding success of Brendan Rodgers in taking Swansea City to the Barclay Premier League is deserving of recognition by his home council, supporters have urged.
The Carnlough man is the toast of South Wales after clinching promotion in a pulsating play-off final at Wembley on bank holiday Monday, beating his former club Reading 4-2 to take Swansea in to the top flight of English football for the first time in 28 years and earning the club a potential £90 million windfall.
Brendan and his players paraded the Championship play-off trophy through the streets of Swansea on Tuesday evening and were honoured with a civic reception.
The 38-year-old’s record a top coach had already earned him a Larne Borough Sports Award earlier this year, although he was unable to attend the gala dinner. However, moves are underway to see that his latest towering achievement is recognised by Larne Borough Council.
Mayor Bobby McKee said after the play-off victory: “Larne borough will have two men in the Premier League next season in Brendan Rodgers at Swansea and Gareth McAuley, who has signed for West Bromwich Albion and has captained Northern Ireland recently.
“It is tremendous that we will have two young men putting the borough on the map for all the right reasons. I am very proud of them and look forward to having the opportunity of maybe having them in the mayor’s parlour some time soon.”
It will be a matter for the council, in consultation with those involved, whether to hold a mayoral reception or perhaps something on a grander scale. Coast Road representative Gerardine Mulvenna said she hoped the question of how best to honour Brendan Rodgers will be addressed soon.
“It is absolutely brilliant what Brendan has achieved and not only Carnlough but the borough of Larne and the whole of Northern Ireland should be very proud of him,” she added.
Nearly 40 members of the Rodgers family and friends from Carnlough, including Brendan’s father Malachy, were in the 86,000 crowd at Wembley to cheer on the Swans, who have pipped bitter rivals Cardiff to be the first Welsh side in the Premiership.
Back in Carnlough, just about everybody was a Swansea supporter and all three pubs were filled to capacity as the final was screened live.
The Glencloy Inn had raised a banner which wished Brendan and Swansea City success at Wembley. Publican Paddy Diamond said: “Brendan’s a local lad and it’s a small village and we are all very proud of him and the success he has had.
“It’s not often you have a man involved in a match of that sort of magnitude, so every bar was rocking.”
He said he thought Brendan’s achievement was deserving of formal recognition, adding; “It would be good to think that Larne Council would mark it in some way.”
As previously reported, the football manager has another mountain to climb when he takes on Africa’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro, next week as part of a Football League fundraiser for Marie Curie Cancer Care. It is a personal quest, driven by the fact that dad Malachy has cancer and his mother, Christina, who died last year, was a cancer charity fundraiser.
Further reporting in the Larne Times.