It is not the first time that Coulter has been singled out for this honour but it is 11 years ago since he last received it. The occasion then was the All-Ireland MFC final, won by Down in September 1999 when he sparkled at midfield.

Championship matches usually bring out the best in some players so it was during May when Down took the field against Donegal in the SFC, at Ballybofey. There is no doubt but Brendan (Benny) Coulter grabbed the occasion by the scruff of the neck to turn on the powerplay with his killer extra time goal slamming the door shut on Donegal.

For his domination of MacCumhaill Park the Mayobridge doyen wins our Merit Award for May with his leadership of the Mourne men, as team captain, the shinning light of the afternoon.

“It’s a great boost to me personally before our semi-final match with Tyrone,” says Benny. “I’m delighted with the award. It is always nice to be singled out for such an honour.”

He has been in the Down senior squad since 1999 but has yet to win a medal at senior county level. Not so, at club level as he has collected eight Down SFC and six Down SFL medals.

For our May Merit Award, Benny edged out Cavan dual star Rosie Crowe who, during May, helped the Breffni County to Ulster titles in both ladies’ football and camogie. London hurler Mark Mythen also excelled in the USHC while Neil McAuley had a star game in the Leinster SHC against Offaly.

Benny Coulter receives an engraved Belleek China vase, an UGAAWA sports voucher, specially designed silver cuff links from Omeath jeweller Garrett Mallon and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports. He will also receive two tickets and overnight accommodation for our 2010 banquet at Slieve Russell Hotel on November 19.

The presentation was made at Casement Pk on June 7 by Joanne Masterson from Quinn Group Property Department.


UGAAWA vice-chairman Jerry Quinn, Joannne Masterson from Quinn Group Property Department, Benny Coulter the May Merit Award winner, Down manager James McCartan and UGAAWA committee member Matt Fitzpatrick. Pic: © Philip Fitzpatrick.

Benny Coulter receiving the Quinn Insurance/UGAAWA Merit Award for May from Joanne Masterson from Quinn Group Property Department. Pic: © Philip Fitzpatrick.