Come Here To Me!

‘Face of Soccer Violence’ (Irish Press, 1988)


There was a lot of interest in a post earlier this week looking at football hooliganism at Richmond Park in the 1970s and 1980s. Outside the scope and timeframe of that article was the UEFA Cup Clash between Saint Patrick’s Athletic and Heart of Midlothian F.C in Tolka Park in 1988. Clashes at this game were photographed by the media, and this fantastic image was printed in the Irish Press on the day following the fixture:

Irish Press capture violence at Tolka Park, 1988.

The Saints were defeated 2-0 in Tolka Park by their Scottish opponents, but as one match report noted:

The loss of the match will be difficult enough to bear, but the behaviour of some of the estimated 8,000 people who came to watch may cost them dearly. Spectators carrying Glasgow Celtic flags and Irish tricolours inscribed with the letters IRA gathered under the popular stand and in the second half threw missiles onto the pitch causing the referee Harry King from Wales to draw the attention of the officials and the Gardaí to this behaviour.

Paul Hyland noted in his match report for the Irish Independent that a section of the crowd appeared to be wearing Celtic colours. Condemnation of Celtic supporters was widespread in the media, and the following letter appeared in the Irish Press from one Celtic supporter:

Pats crashed out 4-0 to Hearts over two legs, and a decade later would take on Celtic in Tolka Park!