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Son worshipper

When George McMullan was honoured with a Testimonial in April 2016, the occasion’s Matchday Magazine asked his wife Geraldine to relay the tale she felt best demonstrated his commitment to Cliftonville Football Club.

In a heartfelt tribute to the man who would retire just one month after that battle with a Celtic XI, she cast her mind back to the birth of the couple’s first son, Cillian, and the “horrified” look on George’s face when the doctor revealed that Geraldine was to be discharged from hospital – at 5pm on a Thursday.

“Training started at 6pm,” she explained.

“I laugh and George gets slightly embarrassed when I tell people that he dropped me and the baby home – and made training on time!”

This and many other stories could be up for your delectation when our former Captain takes up his role as Guest of Honour at the Club’s Matchday Lunch ahead of Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership clash with Dungannon Swifts.

Hosted at Cliftonville Bowling Club, the occasion – which will get underway at 12.30pm – will comprise a two-course lunch with wine, followed by tea or coffee and will include a complimentary Matchday Magazine and admission to the match.

Guests will also be entertained by recollections from McMullan’s glittering career, on which the curtain came down in May of last year after 103 goals in 544 appearances that delivered two Premiership medals, five League Cup crowns and four County Antrim Shield successes.

Three months after scoring the iconic injury-time goal against Linfield that clinched the 2013 Irish League title, he skippered the team in two never-to-be-forgotten Champions League clashes with Celtic and got to grips with the Gibson Cup again in April 2014, pocketing a further three honours – as well as the Charity Shield – before bowing out with a typically ferocious performance in the Reds’ Europa League Play Off victory over Glentoran on May 10, 2016.

Tickets for Saturday’s Lunch are available for £30, with a £5 discount for Members and Season Ticket holders, and anyone interested in attending is encouraged to make contact with Kevin Crossan as soon as possible.