Ards CC was saddened to hear of the passing of Billy Armstrong on Monday.
Billy was a long standing member of Northern CC, but his son Adam joined Ards CC in 1997 as an under 12 and quickly started winning schoolboy races. This was part of a general policy at the time where Dave Kane (sponsor of Northern CC) advised many young riders to join Ards CC to take advantage of our club’s excellent club race programme.
Encouraged by Adam’s success (and also Stephen Adair, a similarly strong U14 rider), the club promoted the all Ireland underage championships in 1998. This was a huge undertaking with 3 events for each of the 6 age categories – a time trial in Carrowdore, a town centre race in Newtownards, and a road race on the slopes of Scrabo Hill. Adam’s sister and mother joined the club to help run the championships, and although Billy stayed with Northern he was a big driving force behind the event, helping with organisation, sponsorship and mechanical support. The event was a great success with about 200 competitors from all over Ireland, and Adam and Stephen both won All Ireland Gold in their age categories.
Although Adam moved on to sponsored teams, Billy remained a great friend to Ards CC over the years, helping out at our open events by doing neutral service and often donating extra prizes. He freely shared his advice and mechanicing expertise.
Ards CC extend their condolences to Adam, Victoria and Irene, and the wider family circle. Billy was a hard working, knowledgeable and unassuming stalwart in our sport and will be much missed.