Northern Ireland news

Freedom of the City granted to former Derry manager Jim McLaughlin

Former football manager, Jim McLaughlin will be given the freedom of his native Derry at a ceremony at Guildhall tonight.
Seamus McKinney

The former Derry City football manager who delivered the Holy Grail of an Irish domestic treble is to be given the freedom of his home city.

Jim McLaughlin (78) will be conferred with the Freedom of the City at Derry’s Guildhall tonight followed by a gala dinner.

As a freeman of the city, he joins an elite group of just 40 previous recipients. These include Nobel Laureate, John Hume (2000), former Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops, Edward Daly and James Mehaffey (2015) and even former British prime minster, Winston Churchill (1955).

In a life devoted to football, Mr McLaughlin won fame both as a player and later as a manager. As a player, he started life with Derry City before moving to Shrewsbury Town. On an international level, he was capped 12 times by Northern Ireland, scoring six goals, twice against England in 1964.

As a manager, he reached the pinnacle of his career, winning the Irish treble of League, League Cup and FAI Cup in 1989. His record as the only manager to do so still remains stands.

Independent councillor, Sean Carr who proposed that he be given the freedom of the city, said it was right that Derry honoured Mr McLaughlin.

Mr Carr said: “He is one of Derry’s most successful sons. No matter where he plied his trade, Jim’s heart was always in Derry. His passion for Derry made us the only team to win the treble.”

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