David Jeffrey: I’d prefer to avoid Sunday games – worship is my priority

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Legendary Irish League manager David Jeffrey has said that, personally speaking, he would “much prefer” not to be involved in Sunday fixtures.

The Ballymena boss said that to do so would risk interfering with his number one priority: worshipping God on the Sabbath.

He was speaking ahead of Sunday’s League Cup game between Cliftonville and Coleraine.

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The clubs are reportedly expecting a record turnout over in excess of 10,000.

David JeffreyDavid Jeffrey
David Jeffrey

However, many Irish League fans – and clubs themselves – have long had an antipathy towards Sunday games.

Ballymena is believed to be a team which has historically sought to avoid Sabbath matches.

Now its manager Mr Jeffrey – who worships at St George’s Church of Ireland in Belfast – has told the News Letter his biggest concern about such clashes is they will interfere with church attendance.

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“My own view is very simply: God made the Sabbath for man, not man for the Sabbath,” he said.

“The most important thing for me on Sunday is really making sure I’m in my place of worship...

“I suppose for me traditionally in Northern Ireland we haven’t played [on Sundays] and I’ve always been very comfortable with that.

“I’m not coming down on anybody playing, making any judgement, or giving any direction.

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“My own preference would be not to play – simply around the practicalities of if you’re playing away from home, say Coleraine or anywhere else, it’d maybe interfere with my worship.

“My priority on a Sunday is worshipping God... the practicalities of trying to prepare for a game on a Sunday would interfere dramatically with getting to church.”

Linfield has previous played on a Sunday, and when asked its stance yesterday, a club spokesman said that if the situation ever arises where they are asked to do so again then they will consider it at that time.

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