Bannview was opened in 1977 by Gerald and Joan Black, originally as a squash club. In the 70’s and 80’s squash was a very popular sport, and Bannview at one time comprised 5 squash courts, a restaurant and bar. The club boasted over 400 members at its peak. The original building, (built in 1896), was an old bicycle shed, owned by local shirt making business Spence Bryson, and its redevelopment into a squash club was testament to the imagination of Gerald, a man who was never afraid to attempt the seemingly improbable over the years.
Gerald and Joan organized many squash tournaments in those years, which attracted many of the worlds leading squash players to the Craigavon area, including multiple world champion Jahangir Khan (who opened the premises), Jonah Barrington of England and Geoff Hunt of Australia, who all graced the Bannview courts.
As a promoter of sport, and the Craigavon area, Gerald was instrumental in attracting multiple sports stars to Craigavon, including snooker star Terry Griffiths (there is still a snooker room at Bannview), motor racing legend James Hunt, boxing star Henry Cooper and football stars Sir Stanley Matthews, Jack Charlton and Bruce Grobelaar.