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Cliftonville pay tribute to Tommy Breslin

A tribute to Tommy on the pitch at Solitude where he engineered so many triumphs A tribute to Tommy on the pitch at Solitude where he engineered so many triumphs
By Conor McParland

CLIFTONVILLE paid tribute to their former manager Tommy Breslin at their first home league game of the season last night (Tuesday).

The 58-year-old passed away last Wednesday in Spain, where he had been on holiday after attending a wedding.

Before the Reds’ game against Glenavon, there was a minute’s applause to remember Tommy, with his family and friends also in attendance.

Tommy’s former assistant Peter Murray and club representatives then placed a wreath in the centre circle.

The Reds players and management paid their own special tribute on the night by turning in a fine performance and claiming a convincing 3-1 victory against Glenavon.

Tommy Breslin led the Reds to consecutive Irish League titles in 2013 and 2014 as well as three League Cups, two County Antrim Shields and the club’s first ever home win in European competition during his four-and-a-half-year spell.

Club Chairman Gerard Lawlor led the tributes saying that Tommy “changed people’s lives” during his iconic managerial reign at Solitude.

“Tommy was a totally unique human being,” he said.
“With his infectious smile and warm personality, he could change the atmosphere in a room by merely entering it.
“Bressie was one in a million, I genuinely have never heard a bad word said about him and I have yet to meet a more humble person.
“To his partner Valerie, his beloved sisters and the entire Breslin family circle, I offer my own and Cliftonville Football Club’s condolences and deep heartfelt sorrow at this very painful time.
“Our club has lost one of its greatest sons – if not the greatest. He is a legend in the highest definition of the word. Tommy Breslin may be gone but he’ll never be forgotten by anyone at Cliftonville. He changed people’s lives, he made men believe and he delivered people’s dreams.”
Reds legend and former captain during Tommy’s time in charge, George McMullan, said his boss “turned boys into men and men into champions”.
“Tommy was a player’s manager,” he said.
“Nowadays, football is all about pressure to win and the best thing Tommy did was take that pressure away.
“Never did I hear him have a pop at anyone. He did everything with a smile and a joke and the players loved him – and with that came great success.
“He is one of the best men I have ever met in football and he will be sorely missed.
“I’m heartbroken for Valerie and the rest of his family and I want to say a big thank you to Tommy B for being Tommy B. I’ll never forget the day he and Peter Murray took charge – from that day, they knew we would be winners.
“They turned boys into men and men into champions.
“Rest in peace, legend.”
No funeral details have yet been announced.

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