Obituary - Football promoter Noel Lemon

SPORTS promoter, Noel Lemon (right), has died following a short illness.

Belfast-born Noel (68) was a larger than life character, but sadly lost his two year battle with illness.

The East Belfast man enjoyed a remarkable career in the USA, where he founded Mundial Sport, Florida, hosting 160 international games involving countries from all over the globe.

He was the catalyst behind the Irish League’s tour of America back in the 1990s.

Noel was also the promoter of the Carlsberg Challenge Tournament hosted in Belfast, where Linfield and Glentoran came up against the might of Benfica and Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven at Windsor Park.

He originally emigrated to Australia before moving to the States, where he resided for many years.

The brother of former Linfield midfielder Jim, Noel became involved with Fort Lauderdale Strikers before obtaining the franchise for Tulsa Roughnecks, where he offered career-changing opportunities to former Glentoran and Northern Ireland duo, Billy Caskey and Victory Moreland.

Noel, who used his entrepreneurial skills to the full, was later associated with Philadelphia Spartans; West High School, Philadelphia, while he was Chief scout for the Chicago Stings.

He became a particularly close friend of Pele, arguably the world’s best ever player.

He enjoyed life to the full, both socially and professionally, and his links with Ulster football will never be forgotten.

A memorable service is planned in his native Belfast in the near future