Well-known sports personality and ambassador for Enniskillen Barry Goan celebrated his 50th birthday in style surrounded by family and friends.

The celebratory dinner dance took place at the Killyhevlin Hotel on Saturday, March 7 with 100 guests attending a champagne reception and dinner to celebrate with Barry. Guests travelled from New Zealand, New York and England to share in the celebrations.

Barry, the third son of Aileen and Danny Goan, shared the evening with his two brothers and five sisters. A lifelong Liverpool supporter, Barry received personal messages via video link from ex-Liverpool players Jamie Carragher and Phil Thompson.

Barry spoke with love and pride of his parents Aileen and Danny who are now deceased and described the very positive influence they had on his life supporting him to do whatever he wanted regardless of his special needs.

The evening followed an Eamon Andrews style ‘This is your life’ interview with Barry where guests spoke of Barry’s many achievements including his success in the Special Olympics where he competed and won at National, European and International level resulting in him competing in World Games in America. Barry explained that whilst training for the world games in Minnesota he was coached by Nadia Comaneci. During this time he also saw the music legend Prince and met his all time hero Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He came home to a hero’s welcome back in the heart of Windmill Heights, Enniskillen. He was subsequently awarded Sports Personality of the Year by The Impartial Reporter and was described as the perfect ambassador and sports man.

In his 40s Barry decided to take up golf and was coached by his good friend Liam McCool, PGA Golf Professional and they have remained firm friends ever since. Barry, with the Ulster Special Olympics Team, won the Triple Crown.

It was in this decade he was awarded the William Keown Trust Personal Achievement Award and also received the Disability Sports Personality of the Year from The Impartial Reporter.

Barry talked on the night of his love of travel and the good life. He travels independently to visit his family in London, Cambridge and Devon and has enjoyed sunnier climes in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, France and Florida.

He talked about how he has developed his culinary tastes with Master Chef and friend Neven Maguire and has been taught by the master at his school in Blacklion.

Barry went on to describe his passion for dance and drama, and how he organised singing and dance lessons for himself in his 40s.

This resulted in him setting up the Fermanagh BrightStarz Charity with the help of his family and friends. He loves performing and has been seen in the BrightStarz sell out productions at the Ardhowen for the past few years.

Barry said he’s never happier than when he is strutting his stuff.

The event took a quick rollercoaster ride of Barry’s half century with guests sharing some anecdotes over the years.

And then Barry gave a showstopping performance of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean to get the dancing started.

Guests described the evening as the best party they had been to in years full of joy, dancing and love and they all wished Barry the best for his next decade.