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We’re all off to Belfast in the red

Submitted by on July 15, 2010 – 8:29 am2 Comments

FC United travel to Belfast this weekend to take on Ireland’s oldest club Cliftonville. The match will take place at Donegal Celtic’s ground.

Due to it being summer and us all being lazy gets with other stuff to take up our idle time, there’s not been much new on here of late. Soz and that. To maintain that laid back summer vibe, we’ve nicked this preview from the FC United official site, by Laurie:

Cliftonville FC v FC United of Manchester, Saturday 17th July 2010, Kick off 3pm. This game is to be played at Donegal Celtic Park, Suffolk Park, Belfast, BT11 9PE. £8 adults, £5 concessions.

The oldest football club in Ireland, Cliftonville are a members-owned club who play their home games at Solitude, north Belfast. A detailed and thorough history of the club can be found at the club website here: www.cliftonvillefc.net/history

Cliftonville have just enjoyed their most successful league campaign in 12 years, finishing second in the Carling Irish Premiership. That was their best position since they last won the league title in 1998, meaning they will play in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. It was a remarkably successful campaign considering the financial constrictions placed on manager Eddie Patterson over the last 12 months.

- What’s on?
For anyone arriving on Thursday 15 June, Cliftonville will play HNK Cibalia of Croatia in the Europa League Second Qualifying Round at Windsor Park in south Belfast. Kick-off is at 7.45pm and there will be a cash turnstile at either £10 for adults and £6 for concessions.

On the evening of Friday 16 June, there will be a traditional Irish music session in the Cliftonville Social at Solitude, followed by DJs Smitty (playing soul, funk and rock) and Cormac (playing reggae, ska and punk). There will also be a stall selling FC United kits and merchandise.

On the Saturday morning, we are delighted to announce that there are seats available for a tour of George Best’s Belfast – taken by George’s sister Barbara McNarry.

The coach will be leaving from behind Belfast City Hall at 11.45am sharp, and will travel to the murals of George in east Belfast, to Nettlefield Primary School where George attended, to the Best family home in Burren Way and then to Roselawn Cemetery – George’s final resting place.

At approximately 2pm, the coach will then drop off at Donegal Celtic Park for the friendly.
To cover the cost of the coach hire and to make a small donation to the George Best Foundation, there will be a charge of £5 per person for the tour. This is payable on the day.

As there are only 50 seats available for the tour, it will be first come, first served with a maximum of two places per booking. Please contact me on laurie_hanna@hotmail.com if you wish to reserve a place, and please ensure you are able to attend if your request is accepted.

On the Saturday evening, there will be DJs at The Kitten Bar in the city centre where we will draw the charity raffle being held to benefit the FC United Development Fund and the George Best Foundation between 6pm and 9pm. FC United players and management will be in attendance.

As you might imagine, there are a lot to choose from in Belfast – so I’ve decided to divide it up by parts of town depending on where you might be staying.

It’s worth bearing in mind that every pub can serve until 1am and most close around 1.30am – so drink up when you’re on your last pint! Bouncers are usually very friendly, but some can be a little impatient.

- City Centre/Cathedral Quarter

The Duke of York (aka The Duke), 7 Commercial Court – very popular, very busy, great music and good Guinness.

The John Hewitt, 51 Donegall St – lots of traditional music sessions, good range of continental beers, ales, etc and considered to have very good pub-grub.

White’s Tavern, 2 Winecellar Entry – allegedly the oldest bar in town, has a fantastic old open peat fire and my favourite Guinness in town.

Northern Whig, 2 Bridge Street – a little fancier than your normal Belfast boozer, so be expected to have to be wearing shoes to get in. Beautiful old building though.

The Spaniard, 3 Skipper Street – tiny little pub but very popular with late-20s, early-30s crowd due to decent soul and funk soundtrack.

The Kitchen, 1 Victoria Square – busy, old-fashioned style pub, recommended.

Robinson’s, 38 Great Victoria Street – directly opposite the Europa Hotel (the most bombed hotel in Europe!), three rowdy floors of partying so a very popular late-night spot for all ages.

The Crown, 46 Great Victoria Street – owned by the National Trust, a breath-taking old building with an exceptional interior. Worth a visit simply for a look inside, but get a snug and have a pint as well.

Kelly’s Cellars, 30 Bank Street – one of the oldest pubs in town, where the Society of United Irishmen met in 1791. Great Guinness and worth a look if you’re into Irish history.

- South Belfast

Auntie Annie’s, 44 Dublin Road – live music venue, very popular with students but a nice little pub close to the centre. Live music upstairs on most weekends.

The Kitten, 1 Bankmore Square – this is where the Development Fund/George Best Foundation charity raffle will be held. Also has a busy nightclub attached (for anyone into their music, Craig Richards from Fabric is playing the night of the friendly.)

Lavery’s, 12 Bradbury Place – one of Belfast’s best-known and busiest boozers, populars with students, drinkers and pub philisophists.

Benedict’s, 7 Bradbury Place – popular spot with the older crowd, has a nightclub downstairs.

The Empire, 42 Botanic Avenue – another interesting old building worth a look, has lots of live music events.

The Bot/The Eg, 23 and 32 Malone Road – two pubs facing each other on Malone Road, known for their chaotic, drunken atmosphere.

- West Belfast
The Red Devil, 196 Falls Road – also known as An Diabhal Dearg (Irish name), a Manchester United bar and worth a visit if you’re visiting the West. All (Red) Mancunians welcome.

- North Belfast

The Cliftonville Social, Cliftonville Street, Solitude – come up and have a look at the ground and a pint. Cassidy’s, 347 Antrim Road – the most popular pre-match Cliftonville bar (along with the Social), stop in at any time to share a pint with other Reds.

A taxi journey to the ground from the city centre should cost no more than £10 per car, so £2 each in a car of five.

If you’re a lover of the beautiful game and stuff, then there’s a football preview here: http://fc-utd.co.uk/story.php?story_id=2966


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