Football club press box to be named after Times journalist

Victor Gordon, right, with daughter Fiona, friend and colleague Brian Courtney and legendary Portadown goalkeeper Mickey Keenan and the Gibson Cup.
Victor Gordon, right, with daughter Fiona, friend and colleague Brian Courtney and legendary Portadown goalkeeper Mickey Keenan and the Gibson Cup.

The press box at Portadown Football Club is to be named after Portadown Times journalist and lifelong Ports fan Victor Gordon who died in September.

Victor’s family was informed of the decision last week and the official renaming and unveiling of a memorial plaque will take place on the last Tuesday in November - at the Portadown v Glenavon semi-final.

His daughter Fiona, who accompanied him to countless matches over the years, said the family was delighted.

“We are over the moon that Portadown FC have decided to do this. Dad followed the club all his life and to have his memory honoured in this way is something we are immensely proud of,” she said.

“I spent many a Saturday afternoon with dad in the press box, as he filed copy to various local and national newspapers and it was a real labour of love for him. His reports were always very fair even though his heart lay with Portadown.”

She added, “We are looking forward to the match on November 28. Dad would have particularly enjoyed the fact that it is being unveiled before a clash with old rivals Glenavon!”

Brian Courtney said there was “no-one better” than Victor for the stand to be named after.

He said, “Like myself and other journalists, Vic enjoyed the good crack in the press box, exchanging jokes with the visiting journalists from Belfast.

“The late Bill Ireland worked for the Lurgan Mail and he was a big Glenavon fan, so there was always great banter with him when the two teams were playing. But there was also the serious business of covering the football.”

Victor covered matches from the early 1970s up until his death. Like the rest of the old-time hacks - personalities such as Portadown News editor, the late Dougie Sloane and Billy Spence, sports editor of the Ballymena Times - Victor witnessed the transformation of the early, basic press box to the new facility, complete with WiFi, which was opened four years ago.

Added Brian, “When the old wooden stand burned down, Dougie Sloane had to report for a season from the side of the touchline, balancing the notebook on his 
knee.”