ONE of Derry’s most popular play parks was officially renamed at the weekend in honour of the man who championed the facility for almost four decades.
The Bull Park will now be known as the Jon Ugg Clifford Park in memory of the Tristar Boys FC legend, who passed away in September 2011.
The park, widely recognised as the spiritual home of Tristar, was officially renamed at a special ceremony on Saturday afternoon, which was attended by the Mayor of Derry Kevin Campbell, the late Mr Clifford’s family and past and present members of Tristar.
Speaking at the ceremony, Garry Matthewson, Holy Family principal and vice chair of Tristar, paid tribute to all those involved in the campaign to have the park renamed, adding that the legacy of ‘Big Ugg’ would always live on through his family, the park and Tristar Boys FC.
Meanwhile, Mr Clifford’s nephew, Frankie Fleming paid thanks on behalf of the family to Jeff Ashe, Leisure Services Manager with Derry City Council, the SDLP’s Shaun Gallagher and Adrienne Carlin, who has long spearheaded a campaign to ensure the park is kept in good repair.
Mr Fleming also thanked the Bogside Artists for the mural they created of his uncle in December, which now overlooks the park.
Addressing those gathered at the unveiling, Adrienne Carlin said that Mr Clifford had been a ‘protector’ of both the park and the young people who used the park for almost 40 years.
“Jon would be here cleaning the park for no wages, and the mothers of this town owe him a huge thanks for the discipline he helped instill in generations of young people,” she added.
The SDLP’s Shaun Gallagher, who was coached by Mr Clifford when he was a goalkeeper for Westpark Celtic, added that he had protected young people ‘in times of utmost danger’, while the Mayor, Cllr Kevin Campbell added that ‘Big Ugg’ had ‘worked tirelessly’ and gave his young charges ‘focus’.
Ryan Horner, chairman of Tristar Boys FC also unveiled the new club badge at the ceremony, ‘Jon Clifford’s Tristar Boys’ and also thanked Jeff Ashe for his efforts in having the park renamed.
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