Proposal to name new Melvin pitch after Felix McCrossan

A MOTION will be presented at the next full meeting of council to name the new pitch at Melvin Sports Complex after the late Felix McCrossan.

Proposed by Strabane independent councillor Paul Gallagher, the motion will be put before the local authority prior to the Melvin upgrade being finished.

Due to be completed later this year, the £1.4million multi-sport 3G facility will replace the existing sand synthetic pitch and grass football pitch with a new multi-sport surface, which will primarily cater for football, rugby and Gaelic sport. “Personally I think that this would be a fitting tribute to a man who was known across Strabane and the north west for his involvement in sport,” Cllr Gallagher said this week.

“I worked with Felix on various things and I knew him fairly well. I think this would be a nice gesture from council and it would be nice to have it sorted before the pitch is even opened.”

Felix McCrossan passed away in 2013 following a long illness.

A regular on local soccer pitches during his playing days, Mr McCrossan graduated to become an Irish League referee and linesman. He was heavily involved with the Tyrone Milk Cup and eventually became treasurer of the competition.

Off the pitch though, he was regarded as a powerhouse trade unionist, regularly fighting the corner of local workforces. He was the first shop steward in Northern Ireland to successfully secure pay equality for women and during the collapse of the local textile industry, was to the fore in securing terms and conditions for the thousands facing redundancy.

Another person who considers Cllr Gallagher’s proposal as particularly apt is Mr McCrossan’s widow, Carmel.

She commented, “I just thought how lovely it would be for him to be remembered in this way. Being his sidekick I know what he put into sport. 

“He himself wouldn’t have been one for show… but for me, it’s a lovely idea and it was so good of Paul to think of him.”

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