National Lottery

Newry City AFC would like to thank The National Lottery for their donation to the NI Football League 👏🏻⚽️


NIFL Press Release

Irish Football Association and NIFL thank National Lottery Players for their support

£450k support package from The National Lottery gives lifeline to all NI Football League clubs

The Irish FA is delighted to announce that all Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) clubs will each receive a share of £450k of financial support as part of a unique partnership with The National Lottery. 

The partnership with The National Lottery will benefit all men’s and women’s clubs in the NI Football League.  It will provide vital support as clubs are either forced to play without fans or not able to play football at all, owing to COVID-19 restrictions.  As a thank you, National Lottery players, who make a difference every time they buy a ticket, will also get a range of benefits – including free tickets once stadia have fully reopened and VIP experiences with the Northern Ireland national side.

The clubs are important parts of their communities and the funding recognises their role beyond just a 3pm kick off on a Saturday afternoon. They provide a source of pride to their local areas and have been at the heart of their communities through the duration of the pandemic.

The funds will play a key role in ensuring that the clubs can continue to exist and operate during the pandemic.  The money will be distributed by the Irish FA to clubs ensuring their continued survival.

Patrick Nelson, Chief Executive Officer for the Irish FA, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, football clubs are able to protect and enhance the crucial work they do serving their communities right across Northern Ireland. We’re delighted to play our role in this brilliant initiative.”

Andrew Johnston, Managing Director of the NI Football League, said, “This funding is a huge boost to our member clubs at a particularly desperate time. We would like to express our sincere thanks to The National Lottery for their support in safeguarding the immediate future of our clubs.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, said, “Men’s and women’s clubs in the NI Football League play a vital role in their local communities, and have been facing tough times recently because of coronavirus restrictions. We are extremely grateful to The National Lottery for this vital funding package, which will go a long way in helping these clubs keep going until fans are safely able to return to grounds and stadia.”

Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said, “The National Lottery and its players make a massive difference to communities across the UK day in, day out – and have been doing so for the past 26 years. So we’re really delighted to be working with the Irish Football Association to support these incredibly important clubs in the Northern Ireland Football League, enabling them to continue playing such an important role in their local communities. I am a huge football fan and I think all fans will be delighted to know that their clubs are getting the support they need.”

The partnerships follows a similar initiative between the FA and National League in England, and the FAW and Cymru Leagues in Wales. Work continues on a partnership with the Scottish FA. The money for these initiatives is coming from a National Lottery promotional fund. It is not being funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good Causes or by Camelot.”

Jackie McCullough RIP

It is with much sorrow that we have learnt of the passing of Jackie McCullough, former Manager of Newry Town FC from 1973 to 1976.
Jackie had a successful time with “The Town” winning the Mid Ulster Cup during the 1974/75 season. During the same season the club also won the South Section of the B League Championship before losing by a 4-3 margin to the winners of the North Section Carrick Rangers in a thrilling test match decider at Dixon Park Ballyclare.
He, however, down through the years always maintained an interest in Newry Town/ City/City AFC and was always a welcome visitor to The Showgrounds. We were delighted to have Jackie as a guest at our Centenary Dinner of The Town/ City/City AFC in the Canal Court Hotel last year.
All at Newry City AFC would like to extend our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Jackie’s wife Dorothy, family and friends. May he Rest in Peace.

Newry Showgrounds Regeneration

Newry City Athletic Football Club Chairman Martin McLoughlin is delighted to announce the club have secured planning permission to develop The Showgrounds in a project which will bring much needed facilities to the City of Newry “The football hub project has the potential to be a flagship for sports in the East Border region and beyond. Newry City AFC is at the heart of the community and the club are committed to improve our home ground at The Showgrounds to include state-of-the-art training and match facilities that will not only benefit our club but the wider sporting community across the district. This will allow our club to further expand its activities, which, in turn, will allow even more young people to participate in sport. The club and its facilities are vital to Newry City and its relationship with football. Support for this scheme from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council will be crucial to getting our ambitious project over the line.”

Project Vision

Our vision is to build and sustain Newry City AFC and The Showgrounds in its important position within the City as the home of sporting, recreational, community and volunteering opportunity

It is the clubs aim to generate wider community benefit through football, sport and non-sport activities, particularly in the areas of health and wellbeing, education skills and employment, social inclusion and volunteering by creating a sustainable model for delivery of new sporting and community facilities at The Showgrounds.

The proposed project aims to deliver benefits for the local community, schools, sports clubs and charities across the city and wider region.

Description of Proposal:

At the moment the club pitches are not sufficiently equipped to deal with the demand placed on them by club activities and as a result growth is limited. This leads on to a lack of provision for senior, youth, female, community and school engagement within the current site and the proposed project including hybrid pitch and 3G facility offer a solution.

The project concept includes a hybrid stadium pitch, the resurfacing of the rear training pitch from grass to 3G along with provision of associated changing room building and spectator stand together with parking and ancillary site works. It is also planned to widen the existing internal access road to the North of the site to provide two-way vehicle access to the rear pitch while the existing derelict spectator stand is to be removed and the North side standing terraces reduced in width to accommodate the road widening.

The proposed project outlined above will enable Newry City AFC to offer:

  • Improvement of facilities for NCAFC teams at all levels.
  • Enabling other soccer clubs and sports clubs to use the facilities for their specific activities to help meet their needs.
  • A facility to host UEFA, International Representative and domestic show piece games
  • Enhancement of community and sporting facilities in Newry and the wider region.
  • Potential for school usage and schools programme development.
  • Local charities and community groups offered space for activities.
  • A venue to host local, regional and international events.
  • Revenue created (not for profit) to be invested in volunteers, community programmes and the sustainability of facilities at The Showgrounds.


Newry City Comment

First Team Manager Darren Mullen commented – “This is terrific news for the club. I know how hard people have worked to get us to this position so it’s great credit to everyone involved. From the outset it has always been a project to help integrate the club with the whole community of Newry to provide facilities that are severely lacking. However, this is only the first step and we know there is still a lot of hard work to follow. The Sub Regional Stadia Fund is a once in a generation opportunity for football clubs, and it’s hugely important that Newry City AFC secure investment as the only ‘designated football ground’ in the council area and indeed wider region. We can see first-hand during these difficult times how important outdoor activity is so hopefully this project can continue to gather pace.”

Strategic Funding Context

Newry City AFC will bid to Strand 2 Department for Communities: Sub Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer, the stated purpose of which is to provide sub-regional stadia which can sit at the hub of key communities and can offer quality football facilities and community facilities which bring revenues into the club tenants, thus making football in these areas more sustainable.

The club are delighted to be working with funding specialist Forsythe Consulting and Architect Cathal Maguire from Milligan Reside Larkin who commented “Milligan Reside Larkin Architects have been delighted to working closely with the NCAFC Board, Forsythe Consulting, local sports groups and the council in the ongoing process to provide a Masterplan for the upgrade and redevelopment of the club’s facilities located within the Greenbank area of Newry. At the outset of the project, after our initial review, we decided to subdivide the design into two planning applications, the first of which, focused on the redesign and specification of the main pitch. The second application focused on wider community shared sport facilities, with a greater consultation period, this being the reason for separate applications. It is fantastic that the Planning Permission has been granted and we can now look forward to receiving possible funding for the works to commence.”


Robbie Brunton Rest In Peace

All at Newry City AFC are deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Newry Town / City full back Robbie Brunton. Robbie hailed from Dublin and was just 47 years of age.
He developed a fine reputation as a teak tough all action left back and was quite an expert in converting penalty kicks.
Indeed it was Robbie who in 2003 scored the the crucial penalty goal for Newry just minutes from the end of the promotion/relegation decider against Bangor FC at The Showgrounds. A goal that kept the club in senior football.
We would like to extend our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to all the Brunton family.
May he Rest in Peace

Pre-Season Friendly v Glenavon FC

On Wednesday night (7th October) we welcome Premiership side Glenavon FC in our last pre-season friendly. KO 7.30pm Admission £5/£3. We would advise spectators to arrive early to avoid disappointment in the event that we reach maximum capacity.

As per guidance from the IFA in the link below we would like spectators to note the following points:
– DO NOT attend if you are presenting symptoms of COVID-19.
– Social distancing MUST be adhered to.
– Face coverings are strongly recommended.
– We will be taking names & contact details on admission for contact tracing purposes.

We look forward to welcoming you The Showgrounds ⚽️🔵⚪️ #YourCityYourClub