Archive for the ‘Football Articles’ Category

Speaking of Noel Gallagher, read on.....

Would I have enjoyed Keith Fahey’s absolute screamer in Dalymount Park back in 2008 if it had happened at half four on a Sunday instead of the usual Friday night? Of course. No doubt, there wouldn’t have been as many of us able to claim to have witnessed it in the flesh afterwards though.

League of Ireland fans and the telly, it’s a troubled relationship. Naturally and logically, fans want more exposure for the game as what’s really needed is more bums on seats. Still, a 4PM kick off on Sunday to facilitate the televising of the Bohs and Pats derby is fairly annoying for most who plan on attending.

Pats go into the game quite strongly. With seven points from three games, we’ve performed well to date and the team are playing a very different and refreshing kind of football. It’s a bit surreal seeing Liam Buckley back in the managers job, as Liam was Pats manager when we began going to watch the club as a family. All has changed, changed utterly since, and football is a different affair now. I probably know less about football now than I did as a child. I have friends who have genuinely had to check Teletext the following day to know if we won the night before. Sunday football isn’t ideal then.

For Bohs fans, there seems to be a certain jubilation in, well….. just existing. They’re still there. To rob a line from the blue half of Glasgow, “If they play on the streets, we’ll cheer from the sidewalks” seems fitting in this league where near financial ruin is something almost every club has experienced. TBWRA, or The Bohs Will Rise Again, has become the mantra of the last block of the Jodi.

With Shelbourne in the top flight again Dublin derbies are more frequent than before. It might not be a quarter to eight on a Friday, but a good northside/southside derby is a derby all the same and I’d hope for a good one. Following the game, Bohs continue to show their far superior taste in music to just about everyone with Rob Smith in the Phoenix Bar performing the music of The Stone Roses and Oasis. The event page is here.

Let’s pretend it’s a Friday.

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Tomorrow sees Bohs first home League game of the season, and to coin a phrase, all has changed, changed utterly. We’re lucky to have a team on the pitch, never mind a team who, despite their youth, fight like lions for possession and give it their all as seen over the last couple of weeks in the Setanta Cup and our first League game against Derry. I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the effort put in so far.

But, to the point. Tomorrow evening, at six o’clock or so, I’ll make the journey up North Circular Road. Coming to Mountjoy Prison or there-abouts, I’ll see the beacons in the distance that are the floodlights of Dalymount Park. And then I’ll start to get the jitters. They signify the start of something, generally a night of beer, shouting my head off, beer, football, camaraderie, beer, shouting my head off again and a sense of ‘home.’ They signify everything I love about this League, a feeling those who follow a foreign team might get if they were to make their yearly trip to Old Trafford or Anfield every week instead. But they don’t, and won’t ever feel it the same way. Its a feeling of pride/ despair/ love/ heartbreak/ joy/ pain. (Insert where appropriate.)

Anyways, the reason for this post. Yesterday, the seventh of March was the fiftieth anniversary of the installation of floodlights at Dalymount Park. One of the most striking features of the Phibsboro and indeed the North Dublin skyline has been around for a full half century. How old they are is anyone’s guess when you think the pylons themselves came from Arsenal second hand, and they were guest opposition on the event of their unveiling. Below is a scan of the programme cover from that night, shame I can’t find the match report.

So, for half a century, the phrase “just follow the floodlights” has been used when directing visitors to Dalymount. For half a century, people have been feeling that same feeling I do when I’m walking up the NCR on a Friday night. I can’t wait for it tomorrow, that feeling never grows old. This isn’t the end, and we told you so. Come on Bohs.

Cheers to Giofóg from thebohs.com messageboard’s Da  for uploading the scan, and Dotsy for the picture above.

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The flare. Try as they might, they’ll never remove it fully from Irish football. They’re nowhere near as common as they once were granted, but they still come out on occasion, you can normally spot them light up a home or away section at a Dublin derby or cup final.

The football season kicks off tomorrow for me and many others. Saint Patrick’s Athletic are heading north to Belfast and Cliftonville await us. Pictures of the street art piece below, tagged ‘SEI’ for Shed End Invincibles, the Saint Patrick’s Athletic ultras, have helped get me in the mood.

(via LukeFallonArt)

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Following on from the successful event two years back, the Cup of Nations Final will again be shown in Dalymount Park, Phibsboro, this Sunday. Entry is free, all going well there will be some food layed on, with drink deals before and during the game. Afterwards, there will be music from guest DJs, and our very own JayCarax. See yizzers there!

Directions to Dalymount Park can be found here: http://bohemians.ie/club/directionsmap.html

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It’s hard to forget the man who averaged the mythical “one goal in two games” total during his time in the League of Ireland, in a career spanning Bray Wanderers, Drogheda United, Sporting Fingal, and Derry City. I don’t think he’s going to forget the moment in the clip below, completing a ten minute hat-trick for his new club Persepolis in the Tehran derby, helping his team come back from 2-0 down to a stunning 3-2 victory; in front of a crowd of 70, 000, with television viewers claimed to be close to 20 million. Trap lad, missed the boat…?

Cheers to Dunster for the heads up… Don’t forget mate, as you are now, so once were we, as we are now, so once were you…

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The Irish Press, April 25 1966

The fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 rising was of course a monumental moment in the history of the Irish state. It was marked in a wide variety of ways, for example in Dublin with the opening of the Garden of Remembrance and the pageant Aiséirí at Croke Park on Easter Sunday, not to mention a full military parade on our main thoroughfare.

As Fintan O’Toole noted in a 2011 Irish Times article on commemorating the Rising:

The 50th anniversary in 1966 was perhaps the nearest thing to a broadly embraced national celebration, with everything from postage stamps to the renaming of train stations, and from Hugh Leonard’s TV re-enactment, Insurrection , to a pageant in Croke Park.

One of the more unusual manners in which the anniversary was marked was at Dalymount Park, where the FAI Cup Final would take place on the exact anniversary of the rising, April 24th.

The 1966 FAI Cup final was by all accounts not a beautiful game of football. Indeed, The Irish Times went as far as to say it was “among the most disappointing finals ever”. Shamrock Rovers and Limerick would play it out at Dalymount Park, with the game ending in a two-nil victory to the Dubliners, but prior to kickoff the crowd would witness something rather unusual.

Over 200 veterans of the 1916 rising accepted a special invitation to attend the final from the FAI, and among the survivors to attend the final was President Eamon deValera. The Irish Times of April 23rd noted the men were to parade in the centre of the pitch, salute the President and then there would be the playing of the Last Post before the veterans would then make their way to a special seating area in the stands. The Fintan Lalor Pipe Band led proceedings.

Oscar Traynor is a name today associated with football among the youth of the city for the cup named in his honour, but the one-time FAI President was also a veteran of the Easter Rising of 1916. Traynor had a great love of the beautiful game, and had toured Europe with Belfast Celtic in 1912. His Witness Statement to the Bureau of Military History on his role in the 1916 rising is quite a good read, and begins almost with this excellent line.

I was connected with football up to that and I broke with football when I saw that there was something serious pending.

Something serious indeed!

Veteran of the Easter Rising and later FAI President Oscar Traynor

Traynor passed away in 1963, but the Irish Independent report on the 1966 final would note that the pre-match ceremony “was a historic occasion with the freedom fighters of 1916 taking part beforehand in ceremonies which would have brought joy to the heart of the late president of the FAI, Oscar Traynor. The final itself, however, brought little joy to the hearts of the 26,898 spectators who gave it their disapproval in the slow hand-clap in the second half.”

The FAI took aim at Radio Eireann the following day for not broadcasting the FAI Cup Final. The FAI President and Minister for Health Donagh O’Malley took aim at the station, stating “it would be remiss of me if I did not express my utter disgust at the manner in which the broascasting authority in this country has treated soccer followers.”

A historic day for Irish soccer, but not broadcast by Radio Eireann.

Sportsfile today have some excellent images from the 1966 clash, as mentioned above said to among the worst FAI Cup Finals ever played, but sadly no images of the 1916 commemoration prior to kick off.

Long on my list of books to read is Sean Ryan’s history of the FAI Cup. The cup has many interesting stories of course, and it’s role in marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising shouldn’t be forgotten.

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Thanks (or not, I’m not too sure) to KBranno for pointing me in the direction of this video clip. I don’t know what to say about it only…. its car- crash stuff. Contained within is an uncharismatic blithering idiot trying to talk football while cracking juvenile jokes about Pat Butcher, kissing your mates Ma and the politics of slagging people of different races. Unreal stuff for a Sunday morning.



WARNING. View at your own discretion. CHTM! will not compensate for facial injuries caused by overt cringing.

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I contacted AK over at the Irish Election Literature Blog recently enquiring about the possibility of posting the below to Come Here To Me, a letter of support from The Housemartins to Shamrock Rovers supporters in their battle to save Miltown Road from destruction.

I’d long known of Paul Heaton’s love for the beautiful game, his interview with the Celtic fanzine TÁL is worth taking the time to read, and gives good insight into his views on the modern game. There’s also a great bit of Dublin related humour in it.

Interviewer: Is ‘The Rising of Grafton Street’ by The Beautiful South in reference to the Easter Rising?
Paul: Not intentionally
Interviewer: Lol, we can claim it for Ireland anyway?
Paul: You certainly can!

The Housemartins letter of support for Shamrock Rovers supporters was printed in the 1988 ‘Glenmalure Gazette’ Christmas edition.

In the past we’ve featured a range of League of Ireland fanzies on the site, including Osam Is Doubtful from Saint Patrick’s Athletic and numerous fanzines from Bohs fans. We obviously had easier access to Bohs and Pats materials with our own loyalties here, but Come Here To Me is about something broader and we welcome all fanzines from the capital, in my eyes they represent a great part of the game here and one which is sorely missed by many.

Some previously featured fanzines.

I was directed towards the following files, which contain an archive of Shamrock Rovers fanzines from over the years, not only the Glenmalure Gazette from which the letter above comes but other fanzines entirely including Some Ecstacy and Hoops Upside Your Head. It’s an important bit of League of Ireland social history and great praise is due to those who took the time to scan and scan and scan away to bring these to a winder audience, not only young Hoops but the broader LOI community.

The Glenmalure Gazette:

1-5 http://www.mediafire.com/?qrsa42y124m1lgn
6-10 http://www.mediafire.com/?11n2boi46oewow9
11-13 http://www.mediafire.com/?1relcdt52k90q83
14-15 http://www.mediafire.com/?03n1xw766zj5gt7
16-18 http://www.mediafire.com/?oo1wf3m0czno1zz
19-20 http://www.mediafire.com/?kngx9s5njzx17o6
21-22 http://www.mediafire.com/?1bbm3b4h3e72mku

Some Ecstasy
1-5 http://www.mediafire.com/?oc8wf1f54xyxzax
6-8 http://www.mediafire.com/?gyxuj32yak4em4u
9-11 http://www.mediafire.com/?3wcw3s85t75rpp1

Hooped On A Feeling
Only One Issue : http://www.mediafire.com/?c3745xxia4m71eb

Hoops Upside Your Head
1-3 http://www.mediafire.com/?6y13ntvqk3fvua2
4-6 http://www.mediafire.com/?ez5d7z7v7f71dzz
7-9 http://www.mediafire.com/?ya6fwodwgik7o1c
10-11 http://www.mediafire.com/?d9amjej0msjler5
12 http://www.mediafire.com/?ag2aala7ep7srhm
13-14 http://www.mediafire.com/?5g7d7bn481g4koa
15-16 http://www.mediafire.com/?sr4gkua4kh6683d

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I love the beautiful game, and I hate the ‘Red Tops’.

For years, I’ve been an avid reader of When Saturday Comes, and long-term readers of the blog will know that the once-thriving fanzine culture in the League of Ireland is something I sorely miss. In the past we’ve featured fanzines from Bohs, Pats and Rovers supporters, publications which really captured the spirit of the game and offered something much more than stats and sensationalism to the football faithful here.

Good football writing, and passionate football writing, is hard to find. In 2011, over in the UK, The Blizzard landed. I sat up immediately. It had all the passion of the fanzines, and was written in a style that meant it stood tall as a journalistic effort too. It gave space to things so often omitted from mainstream football publications, like the history of our beautiful game.

Describing the publication, editor Jonathan Wilson has noted

The Blizzard (is not) the organ of any one individual. Rather it aims to provide a platform for writers, British and foreign, to write about football-related subjects important to them, be that at the highest level or the lowest, at home or abroad. Eclecticism is the key. There will be no attempt to impose an editorial line; all opinions expressed are those of the individual author. Equally, within certain basic parameters, writers are encouraged to write in whatever style they see fit.

It’s format is perfectly between magazine and book, beautiful to handle and wonderfully designed. Prior to now Irish readers have had to purchase hard copies via the publications website, but now it is due to arrive in Dublin via Casa Rebelde in Temple Bar. All going well, I’m told it will arrive by the end of next week.

The Blizzard isn’t what one would expect from an ‘alternative’ football read. There’s more to this than a profile of Sankt Pauli or FCUM or something else you’d expect from The Guardian. A particularly strong past article that comes to mind looked at a first World War internment camp that shaped the development of the game in Europe. That’s the sort of thing you can expect.

Welcome to Dublin.

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This is something else, a blast from the past in the form of Watch Your House, a 1994 tribute to Ireland (and Saint Patrick’s Athletic!) legend Paul McGrath. Well done to Youtuber Cushens for booting this onto Youtube from the original tape. Enjoy.

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There’s a great piece of graffiti in the toilets of The Academy venue on Abbey Street which reads Bohemian F.C will break your heart. Saint Patrick’s Athletic haven’t broken mine yet, but last night I had my heart in my mouth for periods of the game last night.

You know you’re in trouble when you can’t print tickets. Heading into Dalymount Park, there were no physical student tickets at all and the adult tickets were clearly marked ‘Friendly’ and for a clash with Everton, and not ourselves from across the Liffey. It’s a miserable night for football, such a miserable night that if they actually were playing Everton tonight I doubt Everton’s Irish faithful would even make the pilgrimage to see a glory-friendly. They’d be wise enough to stay home and not risk their health and sanity, unlike the League of Ireland faithful.

There’s not much to report from what was a rather dull clash in truth. On the pitch, the Bohemians defence showed their ability once again. We’ve put two goals past Bohs this season, but failed to beat them with nine-men and had two nil all draws as well.

While few believed a title win to be a possibility before last night, even fewer surely must believe it today. The real lesson from last night is that Bohemians are a far stronger team than many may have presumed they would be this season. I couldn’t help but look over at the Jodi stand and be reminded of the night I stood on the Connaught Stand watching Keith Fahey’s wondergoal across from a packed stand. While no club in this country (not least us!) can brag about attendances, it was sad to see such a small turnout for a Dublin derby. The diehards will of course remain, and it’s some sound when they begin to belt out ‘Gold’ across from us. Spandau Ballet are far less likely than Johnny Logan to pop up at half-time some week sadly.

There are some great snaps from the night over on the ‘A Man With His Camera’ facebook page from Billy Galligan which give you an idea of the weather conditions. A nil all draw in the pissing rain isn’t what any leaves home hoping for, but I don’t think I’m the only Saint Patrick’s Athletic fan who felt a little lucky at the final whistle to have that one point.

Photo credit to Billy Galligan/'A Man With His Camera'

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Better than a meaningless pre-season friendly this one, with Everton’s season opener against Spurs on Saturday having been cancelled due to the ruckus on the mainland. The Toffees have intimated that they will be fielding a strong side against Bohemians, everyone else in the Premier League having the benefit of their first round of fixtures on Saturday.

The Gypsies Vs. The Toffees...

Tickets are €15 for adults, €10 for members and €7 for Under-12s.

They will be available from the Bohemians office on Monday from 9am to 3pm. Any remaining tickets will be available on the turnstiles on the night.

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