1. Team you support?
2. Favourite current player?
Chris Getty has proven to be a great signing for us this season but overall I would have to go for Jonah Nicholl.
If there is a better ‘keeper currently in the Premier Intermediate League (PIL) then I have yet to see him.
3. Favourite all-time player?
I would probably have to go with Francis Murphy who was a tricky winger in the first Distillery team I watched back in 2005.
We had a great team at that time and qualified for Europe a few times, I’m not sure how we didn’t win anything, to be honest especially as we came close so many times.
4. Most underrated player?
Currently, I would probably say Timmy Clarke who always gives a steady performance on the left-hand side but overall I would say Andy Kilmartin who played in our 2011 League Cup-winning side and turned out in Europe a few times for us.
I would honestly say that he was one of the most underrated midfielders in the league and when he left us at the start of the 2011/12 season and then re-joined in January the difference was like night and day in the middle of the park as he helped us stay up that season before signing for Glenavon.
5. Favourite manager?
It would have to be Tommy Wright.
To take over a side ten or so games into the season and with only a point on the board and keep us up with two or three games to spare and then go onto win the club’s first senior trophy in almost 20 years the following season was a remarkable achievement, even more so considering the issues the club faced off the pitch at the time.
A great man-manager who was able to get the best out of his players.
6. Best moment supporting your team?
Fortunately, in the early years I had some great memories following Distillery (and still do!) Despite the fact that we lost both games the 2007 County Antrim Shield final and Irish Cup semi-final, that same season, were good experiences and the atmosphere at both matches was fantastic.
I’ve also watched us play in Europe three times and we were in the Setanta Cup two seasons in a row and made trips to Dublin and Derry City to play in that competition.
The 2009-10 ‘Great Escape’ would also be up there for different reasons and staying up in the play-off two seasons later away to Newry when everyone invaded the pitch is another great memory.
Overall though the best moment would have to be the League Cup win I mentioned previously. It meant a lot to everyone as almost 18 months before the final the club was very close to going out of business so it was a nice reward for all those who fought to keep us alive, and still do.
7. And the worst?
There have been a fair few bad memories, especially in the more recent years but the worst would have to be getting relegated to the PIL for the first time in the club’s history.
8. Which player do you wish played for your team but did not?
I probably would have answered Glenn Ferguson to this question at one point but he did spend the last two seasons of his career with us.
I would have loved to have watched Billy Hamilton play in a white shirt but unfortunately, his time with us preceded my time supporting the club.
To answer the question I would have to say Jamie Mulgrew, probably the best midfielder to grace the Irish League in my time and still going strong.
9. Best XI players you have seen play for your team?
Philip Matthews, Peter McCann, Wayne Buchanan, Paul Muir, Pat McShane, Conor Hagan, Andy Kilmartin, Ryan McCann, Francis Murphy, Darren Armour, Andy Waterworth.
10. What do you love/miss the most about following your team?
In the Irish League, the football almost becomes a secondary thing and as much as I love the football what I miss the most is the camaraderie and friendships that build following the team.
Some of my closest friends are people I have met following Distillery and the Irish League and I look forward to reuniting with them in hopefully the not too distant future.
That’s it for this interview, later on in the week we hope to have Richard back with the second part of his Northern Ireland v Ukraine ‘Where are They Now’ article and Cameron will return to tell us who his personal choice would be for the vacant Northern Ireland job and also start taking a closer look at his all-time favourite Distillery team.