Under the Spotlight: Liam Beckett

Each week we take a glimpse into the private lives of familiar faces throughout Ballymoney and Moyle, be it professionals or otherwise. This week, it's the turn of one of the town's best known characters, Liam Beckett.

What is your career background?

Schoolboy International soccer player, then no soccer as I left school at 15 years old to serve a five year plumbing apprenticeship. Signed for Crusaders FC at 21, there I won a premier league championship medal and Carlsberg Cup. Transferred to Drogheda United spent two years there before signing for Coleraine FC in ‘74 when the now defunct Ballymoney/Coleraine Supporters Club paid the majority of the transfer fee. At Coleraine I was very fortunate that I had joined the makings of a superb team and that was confirmed when we went on to win 2 Irish Cups and every other senior domestic honour and in the process played in the European Champions League 6 times. After retiring from soccer I then formed a partnership with a very young Robert Dunlop who was struggling at the time and spent many years helping Robert rise from mediocrecy to stardom.

When the opportunity arose to enter soccer management I accepted Ballymoney Uniteds offer to become their manager when they were 3rd from bottom of the old B division. In 3 very successful years we managed to gain promotion to the first division, I was then approached by a struggling Premier Club Cliftonville FC and again managed to stop the rot and build a good young side for the future whilst installing stability in their Premier Leaguer status. During which time we were beaten semi-finalists in extra time of the CIS Cup 2-1 by Linfield and I also picked up the Premeir League MOTM award. I then left Cliftonville to join fellow Premier League Club Institute FC who were also 3rd bottom, failing to save them from relegation we gained promotion the following year with a historic league and cup double. Sadly I had to step back owing to personal reasons but hope to return soon.

What item would you take with you to a desert Island and why?

Shampoo – to ensure my hair remains clean and wavy.

What item would you not leave home without in the morning?

Car

What is your greatest financial extravagance other than property or a car?

Our family holiday

What quality do you most admire in a person?

Someone who speaks their mind

What is your ideal holiday destination?

Orlando, Florida

What would you say is your most negative trait?

Impatience

If holding a dinner party, name four people you would invite?

Harry Gregg, Andy Goram, Joe Rice and Sammy Nicholl.

What is your motto in life?

Take each day at a time and try to keep smiling

If you could introduce one law, what would it be?

Restrictive covenants for the retention of all our town centre green areas.

How do you wind down outside office hours?

Take in as much sport as possible whether it is spectating or on t.v.

What are the best and worst bits about north Antrim?

The best are the people, the worst being the seemingly endless road works!

If you weren't in your present job, what would you be?

In media for a cushy ‘oul’ number and getting paid for it.

What is the last film that you went to see?

Mamma mia

What is your favourite book?

Harry’s game

What is your favourite paper?

The Sun

What is your pet hate?

Snobs