14 October 2019 Adam McGreevy

On Saturday 12th October Banbridge Cycling Club held a gala evening in the Belmont Hotel to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the club.

Young and old,past and present members attended the event with was hailed a huge success.

After receiving a beautiful meal by the Belmont it was on to get the evening under way.

We had guests with the President of Cycling Ireland Ciaran McKenna and the Chairman of Cycling Ulster Tommy McCague in attendance .

Our Chairman Maurice Mayne opened the proceedings welcoming everyone and stating how proud he was to be in the role of Chairman in it’s 75th year,the club has gone from strength to strength with young riders coming up through the years and going on to do great things riding oversea and at International events.

Aaron Wallace did a great job of compere for the evening and we were delighted to have at our evening Lauri McAleenan the first female cyclist in Banbridge CC she joined in the 1950’s and she joined Aaron on stage for a chat, saying she still follows the goings on of the club closely on Facebook .

Aaron then spoke with Seamus Downey and Neil Teggart two families who have a long history of cycling between them spanning three generations which led them to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games , today Neil’s son Matthew is riding for Evo Pro Racing as is Mark Downey, but as there dads said they never forget their roots were it all started.

It was time for Banbridge man Tommy Evans to take to the stage, tommy must have been one of the most decorated riders in Banbridge CC winning the Ras and Junior Tour and also making it to the Olympics, he wasn’t short of a story or two to tell Aaron.

It was Gareth McKee’s turn speak with Aaron, he was multiple Irish Mountain Biking champion,he has a superb record on road and off road but his heart would lie with the Mountain Biking, Gareth is a great role model for younger kids growing up and getting into the sport.

Last but not least three of the U23 riders who have claimed so much between the John Buller,Matthew Teggart and James Curry , three Banbridge lads who all started with Banbridge CC and now are riding with various clubs but they have always remember were they gained the knowledge and experience of cycling through family members and friends in Banbridge CC.

The last formality of the evening was to present the club person of the year trophy, there were four very worthy nominees as in Paul Hannigan, Aaron Wallace, David Lavery and Toni Hannigan. The winner was going to be presented with the inaugural Towell Trophy in memory of the late Alan Towell who was a stalwart in the club and suddenly passed away earlier this year and his dad Ivan Towell who passed away a few years ago. The chairman called up the Towell family as in Alan’s wife Angela and his two daughters Felicity and Christina to present the trophy to the winner who was Toni Hannigan .

Toni said she felt honoured and overwhelmed to receive this trophy and how much Alan was missed in the club but his memory would live on for along time to come.

The rest of the evening was spent dancing to the band Peach .


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