ONE OF the greatest players ever to don the black and white of Sligo is to be honoured by the dedication of a local GAA playing facility in his memory.
The late Johnnie Stenson, who won a Connacht senior medal with Sligo in 1975 and gave sterling service to his native Curry and St. John's at club level, will be honoured by the St. John's Club this week-end when they name their new juvenile pitch 'Stenson Park'.
An indication of the esteem in which Johnie was held, not just in Sligo and Connacht but throughout the country, is reflected in the fact that GAA President, Liam O'Neill, will officiate at the opening of the new pitch at Cuilbeg on Sunday.
And it is poignant too that the Curry club, which was such a focal point of Johnnie's life, will play a big part in the ceremonies, participating in under-age and senior games with St. John's.
Having enjoyed a distinguished playing career with Sligo and Curry, Johnnie's work with the ESB took him to Sligo town in the 1990s and he subsequently joined the progressive St. John's club where he was a highly influential administrator, serving as Club treasurer in 2000, spearheading many fund raising initiatives, and passing on his vast football knowledge as coach to under-age and adult teams.
"Johnnie was a colossal figure for the club", says St. John's Chairman, John Leyden, "and it's fitting that we should honour him in this way.
The attendance of the Association's President, Liam O'Neill, at Sunday's ceremonies serves to underline the massive contribution Johnnie made to the GAA as a magnificent footballer during his playing career and later as an administrator at club level".
Sunday's celebrations will get under way at 12 noon with under-age games involving under 8 and under 10 teams from St. John's and Curry.
The President of the GAA will meet with club officers at 12.45pm before meeting senior citizens from the area at 1.15pm.
The official opening and Blessing of the new juvenile pitch will take place at 1.30pm with a senior challenge game between St. John's and Curry following at 2pm.