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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 00:05 GMT
New Year honours for NI quartet
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall
Ronnie McFall has been manager at Portadown for 21 years
Ronnie McFall, the Irish League's longest-serving manager, has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

McFall has been in charge of Portadown since December 1986 and before that had managed Belfast club Glentoran.

Northern Ireland's chef de mission for the Commonwealth Games, William Stewart, has also been appointed an MBE along with boxing coach Gerry Storey.

Maeve Kyle, the chair of Coaching Northern Ireland, becomes an OBE for services to athletics.

Sprinter Kyle competed in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics and her running career also saw her win a bronze medal in the 400 metres at the 1966 European Indoor Championships in Dortmund.

Gerry Storey and Maeve Kyle
Gerry Storey and Maeve Kyle have received honours

She was a founder member of Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club in 1955 with her husband Sean, and also won 58 international hockey caps for Ireland.

The Ballymena & Antrim club continues to thrive and the list of Northern Ireland athletes who have received guidance from the Kyles includes Mary Peters, Sharon McPeake, Janet Boyle, Mark Kirk, Sean O'Neill, Mark Forsythe, James McIlroy, Paul Brizzel and Anna Boyle.

Storey is best known for keeping the Holy Family gym, in the New Lodge area of north Belfast, running throughout the Northern Ireland troubles.

Football boss McFall said the news of his MBE had come as a huge surprise.

"I am shocked and deeply honoured," he said.

"It coincides with me being at Shamrock Park for 21 years and it has been a privilege to manage the club.

"I have been involved in Irish League football for over 40 years and it is nice to see the local game being honoured.

"I would like to thank the Portadown chairman Roy McMahon and the directors for their support and also all the players I have played with and managed.

"I also share the award with my wife Anne who has been behind me the whole time."

Under McFall, Portadown won the Irish League title for the first time in 1990 and claimed the league and cup double the following year.

He guided them to further league success in 1996 and 2002 and also a further two Irish Cup triumphs.

SEE ALSO
Higgins tops the Scottish honours
29 Dec 07 |  Scotland
Kyle receives Lifetime award
13 Dec 06 |  Athletics
Anniversary celebrations for club
26 May 05 |  Athletics


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