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Posts Tagged ‘Bohemian F.C’

Without a doubt, C.S Andrews penned one of my favourite books.

Dublin Made Me covers two lives. One, the life and memories of a Dublin youth. The other, a life within the revolutionary movement, serving as adjutant to Liam Lynch during the traumatic Irish Civil War. On reading it, I was struck by Andrews account of the day he made his Confirmation, at the Holy Faith in Dominick Street.

Anyway, on the great day, my mind was more preoccupied with football than with religion because my father had promised to take me to a cup match that afternoon between Bohemians and Shelbourne at Dalymount Park and I was afraid that the ceremony would not finish on time.

At the time, as Andrews noted, Shelbourne and Bohemian F.C were the only senior soccer clubs in the city, and he notes that “the people on the south side followed Shelbourne” He went on to write that the supporters and indeed players of the game were “..exclusively of the lower middle and working classes.” Men would travel north to see one of the Dublin sides take on Linfield, Belfast Celtic, Glentoran, Distillery, Cliftonville or Derry Celtic. These were the first ‘Away Days’, the roots of what we still do today.

Football has a habit of popping up in any account of growing up in Dublin. A love of the beautiful game was not only to be found among native Dubliners, but within immigrant communities too. Nick Harris touched on the love of the game in the Jewish community of ‘Little Jerusalem’, as Clanbrassil Street became known. His account of growing up there, Dublin’s Little Jerusalem ,is a Dublin classic. The local lads, he noted, tended to follow Shamrock Rovers. In the book he recounts stories of away trips, noting his brothers would follow the Hoops all over Ireland.

Once in Sligo, when Rovers were playing Sligo they were leading one goal to nil and Sligo were awarded a penalty. As the Sligo man was about to take the kick, Hymie(his older brother) jumped over the fence and kicked the ball away from the spot.

The Jewish youth evem established a team among themselves, naming it New Vernon, a nod to a “Jewish club that played in Dublin some years earlier”. They played frequently in the Phoenix Park, and Harris noted that the team “… played some great matches with various non-Jewish teams, and we were often applauded by people who stopped to watch the game.” Recently when passing through what was once the Jewish area of Dublin, I spotted a child kicking a football against a wall and was reminded of this tale. Harris also remembered a raid on the house next door by Black and Tans in 1921. The family next door were the Clery’s, one of whom was a footballer for Bohs. “From the noise that was going on, it sounded as though they were playing football” he noted. They were, with a football they found in one of the rooms.

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Firstly, I’ve always supported the claim by some (mainly Bohemian F.C) football supporters that Dalymount Park merits national monument status. It’s well known the national team played there of course, but beyond that- you could get a fantastic book out of this place (and I hope someone does)

Even Nazi Germany have graced the pitch. Image taken from the Facebook Group 'Dalymount Park is a National Monument'

Pele and Zidane have graced the pitch, and closer to home some English legends like Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore. 22,000 people went along to Dalymount Park in 1959 to watch Saint Patrick’s Athletic take on Waterford in a Cup Final. That was typical enough. Some matches were a tad odder, like a bizarre charity match in 1952 (“stage artists carrying huge mallets and wearing massive fur coats”, and “Big man stretches arm, holds off midget who swings wildly at nothing” for example) between a press team and a stage team. Why even limit a discussion of Dalymount to football? Thin Lizzy, Boomtown Rats, Bob Marley,Motorhead- all have taken to the stage here.

Why then did it feel like a trip to the DDR on Tuesday night?

Granted, it wasn’t the Connaught Stand (shudders) and the Des Kelly stand we were put in was quite nice, had a roof and was generally fine, but the turnstiles on the way in and the Gulag-like jacks are tragic at best. Imagine bringing your kids to their first League of Ireland game, at a stadium with such diverse and wonderful history, and being put in the Connaught Stand or coming through those turnstiles.

The atmosphere under that roof was electric, Mark Quigley was given a few healthy renditions of ‘White Joey Ndo, you’re just a white Joey Ndo….’ and he didn’t seem to mind the abuse as he stretched beside the away section. I don’t want to guess the away crowd, but it was very respectable and in fine voice and spirits. In truth I thought the Bohs lot were unusually quiet,the roar out of the Jodi can be thunderous on a good night, last night something was amiss over there. It happens at any ground on occasion, maybe it was a Tuesday night thing. I’ve often loved the displays that have come out of that section, like Zapata on his horse on the night of that Fahey goal.

When we got our goal (as you’ll see below in the YouTube video you’re all going to watch) our subs were STRAIGHT over to celebrate with the lads. At the end of the match the players and fans connected on a level I haven’t seen in a long time, and the chanting continued for a few minutes after the final whistle. Gold. Great to see a return to that kind of relationship.

Dalymount Park remains one of my favourite football stadiums to visit, if only for the history of it and the great pubs that you find on the street outside. In fact, I wouldn’t object to a Phibsboro pubcrawl for Come Here To Me in the nearish future. Still, Dalymount Park also remains in dire need of some sort of urgent fix-up. It is a disservice to the history of soccer in Ireland, and not just the resident Bohemian F.C, that the place is in the state it is.

All in all, for Saint Patrick’s Athletic though, a good performance on and off the pitch.

This is worth a look, on the history of Dalymount Park.

Jaycarax, who would know that kind of thing, insists The Clash never played there. They do tell you not to use Wikipedia, sometimes they’re right.

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A trip to Saint Patricks Athletic F.C (Inchicore) versus Galway United F.C, as League of Ireland football returns to Dublin for a new season

Every second week before the Euro

Nice to be back really.

I remember as a child being taken to see Saint Patricks Athletic in a stadium you could only describe as electric. The camac standing area directly opposite the stand would be a red, white and yellow explosion of colour, and a flare in the shed and deafening roar awaited that first goal in that game. The 90s were brilliant times for the domestic game, not just in Inchicore but on the Northside too, were local football could draw in considerable crowds and at least a handful of your classmates got it. Unlike the ‘Who are yis’ in the class we had chosen our teams purely on the grounds of geography and as such were all (literally) singing from the one sheet. We, quite literally, meant we. Us and our next door neighbours.

Still, a hard rain fell on the League of Ireland. A really hard rain. A flood even. The old man would still take us to home matches and car trips to Drogheda, north of the liffey and suburbs of Wicklow, but the religious nature of going stopped. You go from missing a few games to missing half a season. I’m incredibly grateful there’s a younger Fallon to catch the bug and get us back down.

Anyway, to say Saint Patricks Athletic had a woeful season last year would be an understatement on par with ‘the economy is looking a bit shakey’.

Back from under the stairs for a new season

Getting into the ground a bit late I hear the sound of a trumpet. A fucking trumpet. A quick glance and it’s coming from the Galway United away supporters. A small but loyal band of followers, and mainly youngsters, you can take it some of these lads left the schoolyard a bit early to travel up, just as some of the young lads down the far end of the crowd would for a trip to Cork or Belfast. There’s a passion there that doesn’t come across well on the telly.

“United, we love you, we love you…
and where you go we’ll follow, we’ll follow, we’ll follow….”

I’m too busy looking at the one man trumpet show to see the build up to the goal that puts Pats in the lead. Then it happens. The home support lights up.

I spot four good sized large tifo flags, a flare in the middle of it, and a few hundred fans going mad like Pats had won the league, not just scored the first goal of their first League match.

It’s not until half-time rolls around that you realise what a community thing the league is in Ireland. I’ve heard and seen the same at Dalymount, Turners Cross, that kip in Drumcondra and other stadiums. Your man who is emigrating to America next Monday (“No sorry folks, it’s Tuesday. He’s leaving on Tuesday. Good luck to him”) gets a mention over the P.A, the Palmerstown and Clondalkin under 12s come on the pitch and have a kick around, a bucket goes around for the local old folks and whatever else. The club is at the heart of the community, and the youngsters scoffing the (bloody awful) hotdogs into themselves now will hopefully be the ones bringing their kids here down the line.

Coming soon to a Dublin shed near you.

When the whistle goes, and Pats take the 2 goals and 3 points away from this one, the shed (where the away support are based) erupts into one last defiant chant: “United! United!”

They’ve travelled across the country for this. When the matches fall that way, a similar sized band will do the same in reverse. I feel terrible for falling out of the habit, but after tonight- I reckon I’m hooked again. The odd trip down last year isn’t good enough, you’d wonder why you’d miss a game….

Bohemian F .C (Phibsboro) fans make a point about corporate football to Red Bull Salzburg

Will the game grow in this city? I don’t know to be honest. There’s no way I can see a return to the glory days, but at the same time shenanigans on the otherside of the pond have shown British football up as the emotional wasteland that it is.

You can Love United, Hate Glazer as much as you want, but you’ll never love United in the way that lad on the trumpet loves United.

The United he shares a home with.

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