Lucky Fives

The slot machine last year came up with a 55 Scottish league title for Rangers and Rangers fans across Belfast celebrated with stickers and flags (Let Us Shout Joyfully | Order Restored | 55 | F*ck Your Ten In A Row | Blues Brothers | We’re Back | Legends Never Die) and also the stencilled electricity box from Berlin Street, west Belfast (above) and the furniture and barrel (below) from Sandy Row, south Belfast. This year is not looking so good, as they are six points down with three games to go (SkySports).

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Maradona Good, Pelé Better, George Best

From the age of two-and-a-half George Best lived in Cregagh and played football on the pitch at the centre of the estate, where Cregagh Boys played their home games. After playing for Lisnasharragh Secondary he went to Manchester United at age fifteen – in 1961 – and from there to international stardom. When he died in 2005, he was remembered in the estate by a mural (that replaced a UFF mural). It stood for about ten years and now been updated with the mural shown in today’s images, along with the family home that has been returned to a 1960’s appearance – complete with George Best memorabilia – and is available to rent on AirBnb. The home and playing fields are also the starting part of the George Best Trail.

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The Bould Bhoys

Carling last sponsored Celtic FC in the 2009-2010 season, which means that the heroes shown in this 2009 mural are another decade in the past. In the apex are Charlie Tully (of Belfast and Glasgow Celtic), Willie Maley (the first manager), Br. Walfrid (founder of the club in 1888), Billy McNeil lifting the European Cup in 1967, Jock Stein (player 1951-1957 and manager 1965-1978), while on the field are former players Henrik Larsson (1997-2004) and Jimmy Johnstone (1962-1965).

In the centre of the image, the team is “doing the huddle”, which is also practiced by Cliftonville.

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The Loyalty Of Northern Ireland

Two final pieces from Lower Waterloo Road, Larne: above, Winston Churchill, and below, Rangers. The Churchill quote comes from a letter to NI Prime Minister John Andrews when he stepped down in 1943. In full it reads “But for the loyalty of Northern Ireland [and its devotion to what has now become the cause of thirty Governments or nations,] we should have been confronted with slavery and death, and the light which now shines so strongly throughout the world would have been quenched.” Had the board been been erected more recently, it might have quoted another line from the letter: “During your Premiership the bonds of affection between Great Britain and the people of Northern Ireland have been tempered by fire, and are now, I firmly believe, unbreakable.”

Below is Walter Smith, two-time manager of Rangers, who died in 2021. See The Gaffer.

This post completes the set from Lower Waterloo Road in Larne – the wide shot shows Mephedrone to the far left; then Rangers, Duke Of Edinburth, NI Centenary, and Churchill; Women Are A Whole Community is out of shot to the right.

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The Flax And The Lily

The orange lily and the (pale blue) flax flower take their place around the Ulster Banner alongside the English rose and Scottish thistle, and the Irish shamrock is retained even in the presence of the lily. The flax is perhaps included because we are in the Factory area of Larne, near the site of a (former) linen mill. The Welsh daffodil is excluded. The detail above is part of a wider board “Boyne Square celebrates 100 years of Northern Ireland”; the flanking emblems of the Boyne Defenders (LOL 1297), Rangers Supporters club (Larne Branch) – which also uses the shamrock – Boyne Square Bonfire Forum, and Larne & District Great War Society and included below; the emblems of three flute bands can be seen in Norman Anderson and The Gunrunners.

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We Are Albion Star

Albion Star (Fb | tw) is a soccer club founded in 2003. It fields youth teams for players ages 5 to 17.

The plaque in the top right corner is to Phil McDonnell of the OIRA and INLA, who died in 2017; Anthony MacIntyre has a profile.

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Let Us Shout Joyfully

“O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care.” In Psalms 95, the current generation of Hebrews is exhorted to declare Yahweh as their god, or suffer the fate of the previous generation who did not believe and were left to die in the wilderness during the exodus: a wrathful Yahweh declares, “They shall not enter My rest” (Enduring Word). After ten years in the wilderness of the Scottish league minor divisions, Glasgow Rangers are again champions and the Rangers faithful are shouting joyfully – here is Sandy Row on the hoarding around the site of the old Gilpins shoe shop and the UFF funeral volley mural.

See previously Order Restored (which will link to even more posts).

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The Orange State

The orange lily began appearing in murals with some frequency in the mid-2000s (with one earlier appearance in Londonderry; compare this to posts with orange lilies at Peter Moloney – Murals and at Extramural Activity). It became part of the logo of the Orange Order in 2007 – see Design Research Group – and there was an attempt to re-brand the Twelfth as “Orangefest” (Irish Times). It is used in this centenary celebration board to make it clear that Northern Ireland was created as a Protestant and unionist state.

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‘The Glory Continues’ Continues

Martin O’Neill took Celtic – and about 80,000 fans (ESPN) – to the UEFA Cup in 2003, losing in extra time to FC Porto of Portugal. This mural off Friendly Street in the Markets – which shows the Champions Cup rather than the UEFA Cup – is still rolling in 2022. Peter Moloney took a picture of it in 2006.

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Order Restored

Rangers went into administration in 2012 and the “new” club played in the 4th tier of Scottish football. After four years, they had played themselves back into premiership football. Ten years after their previous league championship, they topped the table at the end of the 2020-2021 season, prompting the board shown above “order restored”. See also: 55 | F*ck Your Ten In A Row | Blues Brothers | We’re Back (and Legends Never Die).

The area in front of the Tigers Bay Flute Band mural bears an “Anfield Road’ street sign; and there is a Chelsea FC crest on the house across the street (not shown).

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