TRIANGLE SUPPORTERS’ CLUB  CELEBRATES 75 YEARS

On Saturday 25th May 2024 the Triangle Glenavon Supporters’ Club will celebrate its 75th birthday with a Gala Dinner at the Seagoe Hotel, Portadown.

The Triangle was established by some members of Lurgan Boys’ Club. On Friday 14th October 1949 24 mostly young men met in Market Street to form the new supporters’ club. There was a debate about what the new organisation should be called. Some favoured a name which incorporated a reference to the Boys’ Club. However, Roy Donaldson made the novel suggestion that it bear the title, “The Triangle Win, Lose or Draw Lurgan Glenavon Supporters’ Club.” Roy’s proposal was carried.

Eddie Babes was the first chairman; Newell Bell was the first secretary; and Noel Uprichard the first treasurer.

Although initially permitted to meet at the Boys’ Club’s premises, it soon became clear that a new venue would be needed. The Triangle obtained permission to use a building in Windsor Avenue where Glenavon’s Board of Directors usually met. Then, when the lease ran out on these premises, former Glenavon director George Gillespie offered a room in his public house, the Crown Bar.

Subsequently, in the mid-1950s, Glenavon permitted the Triangle to use the newly built boardroom at the back of the main grandstand at Mourneview Park. The club met there every Friday night – once per month in the close season – until in 1994 it was granted space at the Glenavon Crescent end of the new Geddis Grandstand and erected a clubroom. The room was extended in 1996.

Maurice Masters presents a new bannerette to Triangle chairman Andy McStea during the 1980-81 season.

In the late 1940s Lurgan Boys’ Club members had sometimes booked buses to travel to Glenavon’s away games. After the formation of the new club, this became much more regular. During the 1949-50 season, the Triangle arranged transport to 22 away fixtures. When it ventured to Londonderry for the first time in November 1949, members enjoyed high tea. Since then, the Triangle has made a point of staying for a meal after at least one or two away fixtures each season.

Through the years membership has remained strong. In 1974 it stood at 70 and two years later had increased to 90. By the mid-1990s it had swelled to 150 and there was a waiting list to join. Today the roll stands at 118.

Many Triangle members have served on the Board of Directors. Notables include Stephen Campbell, Cyril Carson, Noel Cunningham, Billy Dewart, Leslie Dowds, Cecil Geddis, Wilfie Geddis, Roy Girvan, Eric Harrison, Ralph Hewitt and Paul Metcalfe.

The Triangle’s raison d’etre is, of course, to support Glenavon. It does that by its members’ attendances at matches and financially. Since 1949 it has donated almost £500,000 to the parent club.

It has also helped many worthwhile causes. During the first 25 years, it generously supported Ceara Special School in Lurgan. Nowadays the club chooses a charity at its Annual General Meeting. Since 2008 it has raised almost £30,000 for sixteen different groups. In 2021 it donated £7.500 to the Friends of the Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital.

The Triangle celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1974 with a special dinner in Lurgan Masonic Hall. The event was limited to 100 people. Guests enjoyed a steak meal. The chairman at that time was Jim Hewitt, the secretary was Roy Donaldson, and the treasurer was Noel Uprichard. Jim Hewitt is still a member.

The 50th anniversary dinner was held at the Seagoe Hotel in 1999. The chairman was Stephen Campbell, the secretary was Cecil Wethers, and the treasurer was Noel Uprichard. Foundation members Sam Brown, Eric Harrison and Noel Uprichard attended. Guests included Glenavon greats Jackie Denver, Dennis Guy, Jackie Hughes, Jimmy Jones and Maurice Masters.

Triangle members and guests at the club’s 60th anniversary dinner in 2009. Back L to R: John Edgar, Howard Gorman, Richard Abraham, Jackie Moore. Front L to R: Harry Collins, Jackie Hughes, Maurice Masters, Bobby Livingstone.

The club’s current office bearers are president, Clifford Kidd, chairman, Graham Morwood, secretary, Claire Hall and treasurer, Ralph Hewitt.

The 75th anniversary event will be attended by Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer and past players Robbie Beck, Paul Byrne, Stephen McBride and Raymond McCoy.

The compere is football pundit Liam Beckett. Music will be provided by the James Peake Experience.

Win, Lose or Draw the Triangle remains in good health.