THE 3G football pitch at Melvin Sports Complex has been officially named ‘Felix McCrossan Pitch’ in honour of the late soccer legend and trade unionist.
A well-known character around Strabane, Mr McCrossan passed away in 2013 following a lengthy illness.
He was known throughout the North West for his involvement in soccer as well as his championing of workers’ rights.
On Wednesday last, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, performed the official dedication of the pitch with the erection of a plaque unveiled pitchside to mark the occasion.
The event was attended by Mr McCrossan’s family, local elected representatives and members of the local sports fraternity.
The £1.2m multi-sport facility opened in December last year replacing the existing sand synthetic pitch and grass football pitch with a new multi-sport surface to cater for football, rugby and GAA
The naming of the pitch after Mr McCrossan was approved by councillors in May 2018 following a proposal from Strabane independent councillor Paul Gallagher in recognition of Mr McCrossan’s outstanding contribution to local soccer both as a player and an official.
Speaking at the event, Mayor Boyle told those present that said the dedication was a fitting tribute to his dedicated and selfless work in local sport.
“It is a great honour for me to dedicate the pitch at the Melvin to Felix McCrossan who had a long history of involvement in local soccer as a player and subsequently as a linesman at local, Irish League and national level,” she said.
“As an administrator he was equally influential through his work with the Referee’s Association and his contribution to youth development including his membership of the organising committee for the Milk Cup.
“Away from sport he was an active trade unionist with the former National Union of Tailor and Garment Workers were he campaigned for equal pay for women and was a director of the Strabane Local Strategy Partnership and board member on the Western Education and Library Board.”