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'A great legacy' - Coach's community football ethos continuing

PUBLISHED: 15:26 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 November 2019

Brian Gallagher, the founder of Waveney Youth Football Club, who died in October 2013. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Brian Gallagher, the founder of Waveney Youth Football Club, who died in October 2013. Picture: SUPPLIED.

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The legacy of a man who helped to kickstart the careers of scores of footballers is continuing - thanks to the launch of new community football sessions.

New community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick HowesNew community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick Howes

The Brian Gallagher Football Fund is supporting new Monday evening coaching sessions for five to 12-year-olds at Barnards Meadow in Lowestoft.

Mr Gallagher, who died in October 2013, founded Waveney Youth Football Club and coached some of the most successful teams in the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League's history.

The Brian Gallagher Football Fund logo. Picture: Brian Gallagher Football FundThe Brian Gallagher Football Fund logo. Picture: Brian Gallagher Football Fund

After establishing Waveney Youth FC in 1978, over the following 30 years he coached and managed more than 100 players who would go on to represent Lowestoft Town FC at first team level, as well as Premier League footballers Daryl Sutch (Norwich City), Edwin Murray (Swindon Town) and Lee Durrant (Ipswich Town).

The Waveney teams that Mr Gallagher was involved in won more than 50 league and cup titles and more than 100 five-a-side and one day tournaments.

New community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick HowesNew community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick Howes

Last week, on the sixth anniversary of Mr Gallagher's death, the new community football sessions were launched.

Joe Annis, chairman of the Brian Gallagher Football Fund, said: "It is so pleasing for the fund to be able to support Brian's community football sessions.

New community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick HowesNew community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick Howes

"To have actually started on the sixth anniversary of his passing this continues the community spirit that Brian encompassed so well - welcoming all-comers to have fun playing football.

"With these sessions it is back to what Brian started - community football, open to everyone, that was his ethos."

New community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick HowesNew community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick Howes

Andy Reynolds, assistant director of football education at Sentinel Leisure Trust, said Mr Gallagher left a great legacy and the new sessions were "very sociable".

He said: "The kids can turn up wearing their favourite football kits, play football and have fun in a safe environment - very much in keeping with how Brian helped football in the area."

New community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick HowesNew community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick Howes

Costing £3.50 a session, it is overseen by coaches Daniel Hollyhead, who recently won Suffolk FA Coach of the Year for 2019, and Lewis Arlow.

Mr Reynolds added: "The fund has enabled us to get new equipment to help run the sessions."

New community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick HowesNew community football sessions have launched in Lowestoft on Monday evenings under the banner of the Brian Gallagher Fund. Pictures: Mick Howes

Anyone interested in attending should turn up at Barnards Meadow on a Monday evening before the start of the session, which is from 5pm to 6pm, to register. Alternatively email andy.reynolds@SLTEducation.org

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