Alan Patterson
Alan Patterson was one of Glentoran finest goalkeepers.
One match in particular stands out and that is the infamous
1988 League Cup Final match against Linfield.
THE ROAD FERRY CUP FINAL 1988-89 at the Oval. This was the first Glens - Blues meeting of the season and it had been eagerly anticipated. The Blues had had a good start to the season, with players like McGaughy and George O'Boyle playing on form. In addition to this the Blues had signed two black players from Senegal 'Tony' Coly and 'Sam' Kammal. Unfortunately the colour of their skin had quite a impact in the game
The teams ran out to a crowd of over 10,000 on a chilly night at the Oval. Linfield were met by a hail of what can only be described as hundreds of bananas. This was to continue during the game, however when the inevetable storm of protest came in the following days it was too easily forgotten by the Blues that while its not right to throw bananas, singing the songs the Blues 'fans' sung was just as bad.
The Blues started the better team, but there was a couple of hard to forget challenges by Caskey on Kammal (he did nothing the rest of the game) and Harrison on Coly, right in front of the packed Linfield cages, for which he was booked (well worth it).
The Blues took the lead in the game and held it well into the second half. Eventually the Glens grabbed an equaliser through Gary Macartney from a hotly debated corner.

It looked tight from then on as both teams seemed evenly matched. Alan Paterson had received the ball in his goalmouth and carried it out to the edge of the box. I can't remember it being too windy a night, normally the prevailing wind at the Oval blows fron the City end to the Sydenham end but this night the wind blew from Sydenham.

Paddy, who had a good kick, launched a big one from his boot, but nobody suspected what was to come. George Dunlop, the Linfield goalkeeper was standing about his penalty spot, the ball bounced before him and the bounce, despite Dunlop's despairing dive drifted over his head and into the Linfield net.

The moment of silence that followed will live with me as fans realised what had happened and the silence was replaced with the roar of delighted Glenmen. Paddy himself says he didn't know what had happened until John Devine jumped on him to celebrate.

Needless to say the rest of the game was a complete celebration. I remember looking from the stand at the celebrating Glenmen over under the shed. Boy were they bouncing up and down, with the chant coming loud and clear... "with a nick-nack paddy-whack Paddy's scored a goal Geordie Dunlops on his hole". Oh how we laughed.

To be fair to Dunlop straight after the game he signed the match ball wishing Paddy the best for his testamonial season and gave it to him. So the Glens had won the game, won the cup and Paddy had secured a little bit of history as his goal was the first ever goal to win a cup final in British football history.