Jim McLaughlin (78) was conferred with the Freedom of the City at Derry’s Guildhall tonight, Wednesday, May 29.
Mayor Michaela Boyle on behalf of the council made Jim a freeman of the city.
Said the Mayor: “I was honoured to welcome Derry City Fc’s treble winning manager Jim McLaughlin and family to the Guildhall for tonight’s ceremony to confer him with Freedom of the City status.”
Following the ceremony, the council was hosting a gala dinner to honour Jim for all his achievements as City boss.
As a freeman of the city, he joins an elite group of just 40 previous recipients.
These include Nobel Laureate, John Hume (2000), former Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops, Edward Daly and James Mehaffey (2015) and even former British prime minster, Winston Churchill (1955).
In a life devoted to football, Mr McLaughlin won fame both as a player and later as a manager.
Jim ‘Macker’ McLaughlin was born in Quarry Street, Brandywell, in December 1940.
As a player, he started life with Derry City before moving to England at the age of 17.
He played for Birmingham City, Shrewbury Town and Peterborough during 14 seasons, scoring 26 league goals in 456 appearances.
On an international level, he was capped 12 times by Northern Ireland, scoring six goals, twice against England in 1964.
As a manager, he reached the pinnacle of his career, winning the Irish treble of League, League Cup and FAI Cup in 1989.
His record as the only manager to do so still remains stands.
Independent councillor, Sean Carr who proposed that he be given the freedom of the city, said it was right that Derry honoured Mr McLaughlin.Mr Carr said: “He is one of Derry’s most successful sons.
“No matter where he plied his trade, Jim’s heart was always in Derry.
“His passion for Derry made us the only team to win the treble.”
Regarded as one of the best managers ever in the League of Ireland, ‘Macker’s’ record of eight league titles, seven FAI Cups and four League Cups during spells with Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Derry City still tands the test of time.