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Lin of duty

Cliftonville Football Club once again places on record our sincere thanks to everyone who has ensured a full house at tomorrow’s Matchday Lunch.

With every ticket sold, another memorable occasion awaits and, as we look forward to the company of former Reds Manager Tommy Breslin, all supporters are asked to ensure they are seated in sufficient time for proceedings getting underway.

Scheduled to start at 12.30pm, the event will comprise a two-course lunch with wine, followed by tea or coffee and will include a complimentary Matchday Magazine and admission to Cliftonville’s Danske Bank Premiership fixture with Glentoran.

Prior to kick-off, however, Breslin will enthrall the crowd at Cliftonville Bowling Club with tales from his time as both a player and boss at Solitude. The rearrangement of the event – which was previously pencilled in to take place last Saturday – means that original host Tim McGarry is, unfortunately, unable to attend, however the Club are grateful to journalist and broadcaster Ivan Martin for stepping into the role at such short notice.

A gifted midfield talent, Breslin made the first of 288 Reds appearances in a Gold Cup clash with Crusaders on October 12, 1985 and ended on his playing days at the Club when Cliftonville faced Ballymena United on April 24, 1993.

The first of his 16 goals came when he bagged a brace against Newry Town on St Patrick’s Day, 1986, while a League Cup encounter with Queen’s University on January 27, 1993 saw him find the net for the final time.

After returning to Solitude in a coaching capacity, Breslin was appointed Assistant Manager to Eddie Patterson before assuming the reins himself – initially on a temporary basis – in April 2011.

His permanent appointment would herald the most successful era in the history of Ireland’s Oldest Football Club, with back-to-back Premiership titles, three consecutive League Cups and two County Antrim Shield wins toasted in the four years that followed – some of which might just get a mention during tomorrow’s sold-out event.