Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 18:51 GMT
Red letter day for Michael

Dromore postman Michael McGreevy is the BBC Northern Ireland's 2007 Unsung Hero of the Year.

Dromore athletic Club's Michael McGreevy
Michael McGreevy with his NI Unsung Hero award

The 57-year-old is being recognised for nearly 25 years of service to Dromore Athletics Club, where he still takes training sessions twice a week.

"It's just in the blood. I love sport, enjoy doing it and I love seeing the athletes performing well," said Michael on learning of his award on Thursday.

"That's what makes it worth getting soaked to the skin on training nights. Hopefully this award will put athletics on the map and it'll be good for sport in Dromore.

"We're a town-country club and we've always been a family club. We take all ages from 10 up to veterans, so it's become an even bigger family."

The BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award, supported by Robinsons, is now it's fifth year and recognises and rewards outstanding contributions by individuals at the grass roots level of local sport.

Each regional winner will receive a bursary of up to 2,500 courtesy of Robinsons, to help them with their work in sport.

Former Lions, Ulster and Ireland rugby star Tyrone Howe sought help from Michael when he was starting out his career.

"Just before the game went professional Michael set out a training scheme and got me into good shape," said Tyrone.

Just before the game went professional Michael set out a training scheme and got me into good shape

Former Lions and Ireland rugby star Tyrone Howe

"Also, whenever I was feeling low he acted as a sounding board and a mentor with good advice.

"That help continued through my career, so he contributed hugely to helping me achieve my dream of playing international rugby.

"It's great for me now to have the opportunity to tell people about the role he played and I'm delighted he has got this award."

Brian McKee and his daughter Robyn are just two members of the club who go to the weekly sessions.

"I couldn't think of anyone better than Michael to get this award," said Brian. "He coached me as a teenager, he's still coaching me now as a veteran and my daughter comes along as well, so our whole family appreciates him."

Fellow member Mervyn Cantley realises Michael's importance to Dromore Athletics Club.

"If Michael started missing training nights, others would start missing nights and the club would dwindle away. Thankfully, Michael doesn't ever miss nights!" said Mervyn.

Michael goes forward to the glittering Sports Personality of the Year Awards ceremony in the NEC in Birmingham on 9 December 9 when he'll be hoping to meet two stars from the world of sport.

Ireland and Lions rugby star Tyrone Howe (left) with Michael McGreevy and BBC NI's Jerome Quinn
Rugby star Tyrone Howe along with Michael and BBC's Jerome Quinn

"From football, I'd love to meet Martin O'Neill, and my wife has told me to get Paula Radcliffe's autograph. So hopefully I'll get both and it'll be a good night," added Michael.

Shane Glynn, Executive Producer BBC Sport Northern Ireland said: "Picking a winner is never easy.

"There are so many people out there who make such a valuable contribution to sport on a voluntary basis and Michael is certainly one of those people.

His dedication, commitment and support to his local club and community, makes him a worthy winner of the Unsung Hero award.

"We wish Michael all the very best when he joins the other Unsung Heroes at the Sports Personality Awards in December."

Michael will be joined by other Unsung Heroes from across the UK with all 15 regional winners battling it out to become the overall BBC Sports 'Unsung Hero' for 2007.

Northern Ireland's 2006 winner
Northern Ireland's 2005 winner

Four nominated for Unsung Hero
20 Nov 07 |  Sports Personality
Khan launches unsung hero award
28 Aug 07 |  Sports Personality
Bursaries for Unsung Heroes
28 Aug 07 |  Sports Personality
Spotlight on unsung heroes
14 May 07 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality: The winners
10 Dec 06 |  Sport Homepage
Sports Personality photos
10 Dec 06 |  Sports Personality


Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other Sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us