Name : Raymond Potter
Age : 61
First Ards game :IRISH CUP FINAL V DISTILLERY (WIN 4-2) AFTER A 0-0 DRAW , I WAS THERE TO SEE MCAVOY SCORE 4 THAT DAY ON CRUTCHES HAVING BROKE MY ANKLE IN THE SEMI FINAL OF THE SCHOOLS CUP PLAYING FOR THE MODEL .
Why did you start supporting Ards : SIMPLY THEY ARE MY HOME TOWN TEAM AND MY BROTHER BILLY USED TO TAKE ME TO THE GAMES.
Favourite match : AWAY TO FINN HARPS IN THE QUARTER FINAL OF THE BLAXNIT CUP WIN 2-1
AND ALSO THE FAMOUS 3-2 HOME WIN V STANDARD LIEGE IN EUROPE
Favourite past players and why. BILLY HUMPHRIES , FAR TOO GOOD FOR THE IRISH LEAGUE & BILLY McAVOY JUST AN OUT AND OUT GOALSCORER
Favourite current player and why : SCOTT MCMILLAN , CONSISTENCY EVERY MATCH EASILY 7 OR 8 OUT OF 10 EVERY WEEK
Favourite away ground: MOURNEVIEW PARK , GREAT FACILITES AND PITCH , GREAT CLUB
Best ever Irish League player : FOR ARDS , BILLY HUMPHRIES AND ISSAC ANDREWS AND SAMMY PAVIS (BOTH LINFIELD)
Name : Phillip Bartlett
Age : 38.
First Ards game : Ards vs Everton (January 91 I think ?), just about remember this game. Also
went to the Ards Bangor Irish Cup final ‘93 (2 out of 3 of them anyway ��) with 1 st Ards BB.
More recent ‘return’ to Ards FC was a 4 th round Irish Cup game at home to Donegal Celtic when
Ards ran out 7-0 winners. I had attended the game with some of the boys from the Ards Academy
07 squad who were over to do mascots and haven’t looked back since.
Why did you start supporting Ards : Home town club so have always kept an eye on them,
wouldn’t have gone to many games in my earlier years as I was playing most Saturdays (Down
Area League regular ��).
I got the opportunity to take up coaching with one of the under ages squads at Ards Academy
(07s) in 2015 and through going to games with the Squad as mascots and meeting the
management / players at various events, my love of the club and team has only increased along
with my attendance at matches both home and away.
Favourite match : There has been a few great games that have stood out, the recent 8-0
demolition of Knockbreada being one and seeing Warren Feeney make his debut for the club
was unexpected, but the 2-1 home win over Linfield in October 2018 is hard to beat. We didn’t
have much luck after that result but as a game it was a brilliant performance from the whole team
considering the opposition, especially from big Mark Kelly who grabbed two goals.
Favourite past players and why. From my perspective as a player/coach I always focus on
defensive minded players and goalkeepers, so it’s no surprise that my favourite players are from
Greg Hall and Sam Johnston….consistency across the back and in between the sticks is a must
and these two were the epitome of consistency. Sam would often save the team in seemingly
impossible circumstances and his volume of penalty saves were incredible. Greg played with
both calmness and professionalism, not to mention excellent ability. Was a shame to see both
players move on.
Favourite current player and why : After the recent rebuilding job following relegation, we don’t
have too many ‘stalwarts’ left at the club.
DD would be top for me at present with his pace and ability to beat players (and score a goal or
two or three) but Scott McMillan, Willie Armstrong and Bam have all been very impressive since
coming in during the summer.
Favourite away ground: Stangmore Park, Dungannon Swifts. Great wee ground that I have
visited several times to watch games when Ards were not involved. Great burgers and chips too
Best ever Irish League player : My love of the NI national team and Manchester United has had a
huge bearing on this as he hasn’t played for that many seasons in the Irish League, but I have to
opt for Roy Carroll.
Note, if Johnny Evans ever comes to play in the Irish League it will change to him ��
NAME - Adrian Monaghan
AGE - 55
FIRST ARDS MATCH - Ards v Glentoran 08/08/73, Ards won 4-2 and Billy McAvoy scored a hat-trick. Always remember that the referee got knocked out when the ball hit straight up the face and the match had to be stopped for a while!
WHY DID YOU START SUPPORTING ARDS - It was a natural thing for me. I loved football from no age and was born in Ards and my elder brothers, Gerald and Brendan, took me along to matches when I was young and it all sprung from there.
FAVOURITE MATCH - Probably the 4-2 win over Bangor in the Irish Cup in 1974, Ards were 2-0 down, but stormed back to win in style, of course, they went on to win the trophy.
FAVOURITE PAST PLAYERS AND WHY - When I was a kid it was Billy Humphries and Billy McAvoy, brilliant players in trophy winning sides. In the 80s we had great players like Jim Campbell and Damien Byrne, who were top class, but never had any silverware to show for it!
FAVOURITE CURRENT PLAYER AND WHY - Hard to look past Craig McMillen. 'Wack' is one of the few players from recent times who understands that it is an honour to play for Ards. He is also a fans favourite who relates brilliantly to the supporters.
FAVOURITE AWAY GROUND - Mourneview Park in Lurgan.
BEST EVER IRISH LEAGUE PLAYER - Even though he was getting on in years when I first saw him, Billy Humphries, was still a great player and the best I have ever seen in an Ards shirt. Non-Ards player would be Glentoran's Jim Cleary.
Age : 68.
Name : Stuart Dellow.
Age : 68.
First Ards game : November 23rd 1963, a City Cup game at home to Glentoran, we lost 4-2.
Why did you start supporting Ards : I had just moved to Northern Ireland from Wales and some friends took me to watch Ards. I had only heard of Glentoran and Linfield so I said I'd be supporting the Glens. However, although they lost the game I liked how Ards played and by the time the match had finished I was a fan and have been for 56 years!
Favourite match : So many to choose from but it would probably have to be the 3-2 defeat of Standard Liege at a packed Castlereagh Park against a team full of Internationals in September 1973. The previous Saturday we had beaten Coleraine 6-0 with all five forwards scoring [we had the old 2-3-5 formation in those days!] and I really felt we would do well against the Belgians. On the night we went behind early on to a goal that had a hint of offside about it, but we kept our heads and came back to win deservedly, although if VAR had existed in those days we may not have been awarded the penalty that won the game! It was a great night and will never be forgotten by those that were lucky enough to be there.
Favourite past players and why. Again hard to choose, but the 1973/74 side was superb. For me the three Billys can't be split. McAvoy for his goals, Humphries for his class and ability to beat a man and Nixon for his timing of tackles and his composure on the ball.
Favourite current player and why : Craig McMillen for his enthusiasm and love of the club and David McAllister for his speed and skill.
Favourite away ground: Mourneview in the Premiership and Loughgall in the Chamionship.
Best ever Irish League player : So many to choose from over the last 56 years but leaving aside Ards players I'd go for Glen Little who played for Glentoran in the mid 1990s and went on to win promotions with Reading and Burnley and play in the English Premier League. If asked the same question tomorrow I'd probably pick someone else!
NAME - Michael Barritt
AGE - 43
1ST ARDS MATCH - 1-0 win v distillery mid 80s ,Ards scored in last minute
WHY DID YOU START SUPPORTING ARDS - i really enoyed going with my Dad and the great cheer that went up when Ards scored that last minute winner hooked me.
FAVOURITE MATCH - Ards beating Linfield 3-2 in the Irish cup Quarter finals , Huge crowd and the atmosphere was electric , A real proper cup tie and Tommy Kincaids goal was coolness personified
FAVOURITE PAST PLAYERS AND WHY - Tommy Leeman was my top pick , superb defender and loved getting involved with the fans he gave everything in an Ards shirt , But others like Erskine ,Beattie,Bustard and Paul ONeill were all part of a great team in the early 90s
FAVOURITE CURRENT PLAYER AND WHY - Dee Dee McAllister , really exciting player on his day as good as anyone else
FAVOURITE AWAY GROUND- Back in the 90s it was Bangor mostly for the atmosphere when Ards played them in the derby games ,sitting in the old rickety stand and we had a great record there.
BEST EVER IRISH LEAGUE PLAYER - from the ones ive seen has to be Billy Caskey ,Class act
NAME - Stuart Killen
AGE - 38
1ST ARDS MATCH - 1-0 defeat home to Newry 1987 (6 year old)
WHY DID YOU START SUPPORTING ARDS - after my Dad took me to a few Linfield matches, my brother David took me along with him and his mates to watch Ards. Think I made the right choice!
FAVOURITE MATCH - the 97 home leg in the playoff vs B*ngor. Best atmosphere I ever seen at Castlereagh Park. Massive Ards crowd, singing from before kick off until well after the match. Winkie Murphy scored the only goal of the game.
FAVOURITE PAST PLAYERS AND WHY - Darren Erskine, Marty McCann and Harry McCourt. As a school kid in that era, they were icons!
FAVOURITE CURRENT PLAYER AND WHY - Whack, though he's left 3 times now, he's still Ards through and through!!
FAVOURITE AWAY GROUND - Mourneview Park
BEST EVER IRISH LEAGUE PLAYER - Joey Cunningham from Portadown, best I've seen
NAME – Dennis S Nash
AGE – 82
1ST ARDS MATCH – Any totally accurate response to this is difficult - but I would nominate a home game played on 30th March 1948 v Derry City at Castlereagh Park. Ards won 4-1.
My brother Derrick and myself were definitely at that game!
WHY DID YOU START SUPPORTING ARDS – As a boy living in Cardy, Newtownards was where I headed every week-end and, as the bus approached the outskirts of the town on a Saturday morning, the first sign I’d see would be the lettering on the Grandstand Roof at Castlereagh Park– “CAFOLLAS FOR ICE CREAM.”
I was naturally drawn to the ground and regularly approached the Boys’ Gate with my “thruppence” for admission!
FAVOURITE MATCH – 26th April 1952. Irish Cup Final. Recall vividly watching Ards land the Irish Cup at Windsor Park with that Johnny Thomson goal. - what a day!!!
FAVOURITE PAST PLAYERS AND WHY – Billy Imrie, Tommy Forde, Billy Humphries, Davy Lawther, Sammy Kydd, Tommy Walker, Billy McAvoy, Ray Mowat, Syd Patterson, Joe McNulty, Michael O’Connell………Everyone of that group did in their own way cement my feelings for the Club and influence the history of Ards FC.
FAVOURITE CURRENT PLAYER AND WHY – Johnny Taylor…….William Armstrong ------Craig McMillen -----Kyle Calderwood. I know this quartet fairly well and fondly follow their progress! I don’t get to the games now on any regular basis but my elder son who now lives in England always takes me along every time he returns “home” on a break.
FAVOURITE AWAY GROUND - Mourneview Park -Windsor Park -The Oval
BEST EVER IRISH LEAGUE PLAYER – Tommy Dickson from Linfield…….Wilbur Cush and Jimmy Jones (Glenavon)………..Sammy Hughes (Glentoran)…….Eric Trevorrow (Ballymena United)…….
MY BURNING DESIRES - To see Ards in a permanent base in the town, to reinvigorate the essential and critical support for the Ground Fund and to wish all my friends on the management side of the club in every capacity all the support and Good Wishes I can muster!