Mourners say farewell to cup hero

BBC News, UK

Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK

Mourners say farewell to cup hero

Niall Quinn paid tribute to Ian Porterfield Mourners gathered for the
funeral of Sunderland footballing hero Ian Porterfield, who scored the
club’s famous FA Cup-winning goal in 1973. He died last week at a
hospice in Surrey aged 61 and his funeral was held at St Anne’s Church
in Bagshot.

Family and close friends were joined by former Sunderland players and
current chairman Niall Quinn.

Until his death Mr Porterfield, originally from Dunfermline, was the
manager of Armenia’s national team.

In a tribute to Mr Porterfield, Niall Quinn said: "If you were born in
the mid 60s as I was, the ’73 Cup Final game was just massive.

Ian Porterfield died aged 61

"In Ireland it was a really family day and all the kids on our street
came to my house to watch it on TV.

"Ian Porterfield was the hero of my boyhood and as I got older I’ve
just been in awe of him and what he did for Sunderland.

"It’s very sad that he has passed from us so early. His attitude
right up until the end, tearing off to every corner of the world to
manage his team was just incredible."

Deputy executive of the Football Federation of Armenia Armen
Melikbekyan said that his death had sparked national mourning in
Armenia.

He said: "Everybody in Armenia has been so shocked. Since he passed
away thousands of people have been coming to the Federation with
candles as a mark of respect. The team had recently started doing
really well."

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