IT is with sincere regret we record the death of Bangor Grammarian George Gifford McConkey at the Ulster Hospital on Sunday past (2 April), following a short illness. A retired teacher, he was 79.
Gifford, as he was known to his many friends, was born on 28 March 1938 and attended Bangor Grammar School between 1950 and 1955.
Although his name for many years has been synonymous with that of Bangor Football Club, his own sporting accomplishments at the School were both diverse and noteworthy. Not only did he play rugby for the Under-14s in 1951-52 and the Medallion XV in 1952-53, he also turned out for the BGS 1st XI cricket team in 1955.
Gifford was an enthusiastic member of Bangor Grammarians and was a frequent attendee at the annual old boys’ dinner in Bangor.
The former vice-principal of Gransha Boys’ School, who resided in Groomsport, was Club President at Bangor FC. He had previously served as Club Secretary, as a Director and then Chairman.
He was a former President of the Irish League Ltd., the NI Schoolboy FA, represented Bangor on the County Antrim FA and was a life member of the Irish FA.
According to an online tribute by Bangor FC, Gifford had attended Bangor’s home matches until a few weeks ago, as well as regularly attending Northern Ireland international home games.
Gifford is survived by his wife Elizabeth, daughter Amanda, son Chris and daughter-in-law Helen, to all of whom we extend our deep sympathies.
Following a private service at Roselawn there will be a Service of Thanksgiving in Wesley Centenary Methodist Church, Hamilton Road, Bangor, this Thursday (6 April) at noon.