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Posts Tagged ‘Inchicore’

Front and back page of fanzine, pages 3 and onwards below on Scribd. Best viewed at full screen size.

Previous fanzines posted on Come Here To Me:

Only Fools and Horses (Bohemian F.C)
Hoops Upside Your Head (Shamrock Rovers)

My thanks to Dodge for passing on both issues of Osam Is Doubtful to me last Friday in Bray. Something good can come out of the worst away trips.

Anyway, Osam Is Doubtful. One of two Pats fanzines I remember following the club as a youngster, with When The Saints Go Marching In being the other. Both efforts were well written, and much more appealing to me growing up than the official effort, a feeling common among my mates at the time. I suppose, the official programme has always had to “Welcome Shelbourne Football Club, their players and supporters to Richmond Park tonight….”while the fanzines could be a little more honest.

The name of this one was a nod towards a Saints legend, Paul Osam. Issue 1 noted that “The name comes from that part of the preview of every single Pats game since the great man came to the club where he’s announced as doubtful”.

32 pages in length, I intend to get issue 1 up to, opting for this one purely on the back of several ‘laugh out loud’ moments on first read. Highlights include a great piece on going to see the national team in Lansdowne Road (“I’m not joking when I say it was the worst atmosphere I’ve ever experienced and I’ve been to Pats vs. Bray in Belfield on a Tuesday night”), a nice piece on Martin Russell (free kick specialist) and a good rant at the jokeshop moniker ‘Stadium of Light’, which Pats fans never really took to thankfully.

Enjoy, and expect the other issue in the nearish future.

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Gordon Banks, World Cup Winner.

Much more than that actually. *That* save against Pele will go down in football history, in fact in 2002 he remarked to FourFourTwo magazine that “It’s something that people will always remember me for. They won’t remember me for winning the World Cup, it’ll be for that save. That’s how a big a thing it is. People just want to talk about that save.” In another interview, with The Observer Sport Monthly, he commented that “As I got to my feet I tried to look as nonchalant as possible, as if to say that I make that sort of save all the time.”

Gordon Banks defended more nets than just the English national one however. A quick glance at his C.V shows Stoke City, Leicester City , Chesterfield , The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Cleveland Stokers and, believe it or not, Saint Patrick’s Athletic.

Banks played one game for the Saints, a home match against Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers. Barry Bridges was managing the Saints at the time, as player manager. The year previously, in 1976, Pats had gained some attention by picking up Neil Martin, a former Hibernan F.C, Sunderland and Nottingham Forest striker, among other clubs. In fact, English player manager Bridges had an impresive record himself, including but not limited to spells at Chelsea, Milwall and QPR.

Barry Bridges

The Irish Times of October 1st 1977 noted that Barry Bridges stated there was a “fifty fifty” chance Banks would line out the next night in Richmond Park. Picked up from Fort Lauderdale, it all depended on clearance from the American F.A. The paper noted that

“The signing, which is likely to extract a sharp response from St. Patrick’s first choice goalkeeper, Mick O’ Brien, represents the Dubliners’ most entreprising move since Neil Martin joined the club last seaon”

Amazingly, Gordon Banks had returned to goalkeeping despite losing sight in one eye following a car crash. It was common enough at the time for English players to semi-retire in the U.S game, and Banks signing to Pats was a surprise to many. In the end, he was given clearance to perform and maintained a clean seat, in a one nil home victory over Rovers. He would never grace the pitch at Richmond Park again, and returned to the United States.

Barry Bridges remained at Pats until February 1978, moving on to become player manager of Sligo Rovers. Banks remains just one former English international to briefly play in the Irish league. Geoff Hurst, Terry Venables (another Saint), Carlton Palmer and Bobby Charlton are just a small selection of others who have done the same.

 Gordon played alongside future Waterford United player Bobby Charlton in 1966.

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“Since the end of last season I have been acquiring new players: three are local lads from junior clubs- Billy Reid (Fatima Rangers) Paul McGrath (Dalkey United) and John Cleary (Ballyfermot Utd.)”

Ooh Ah Paul McGrath. With “..a bit of time and encouragement” he won’t be a half bad player. Not a bad call.

This one showed up recently, and should be of interest to not just Saints but maybe Rovers fans and League of Ireland fans in general. The team listings in the central page for example makes for interesting reading. There is so much to this though, the ad’s for local businesses, the simplicity of the match programme, the irritating game of ‘Symbol Cross’ on the last page, and the annoying fact the backcover Adidas ad features snaps of Manchester United and Ipswich Town (not many Irish Ipswich Town fans at the moment). Suppose Barstool culture goes back a bit itself.

So, from the First Round of the League Cup, at a bargain 30p, here it is. Enjoy.

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The view here is perfect.

Those annoying pillars in the stand can see to it that for 45 minutes, you’re relying on the eyes of the person beside you to see what exactly is going on out there on the pitch. You’d want to arrive a little early (or join the veterans on the Camac) to see the game comfortably.

7.35 kick off is unusual, obviously done ‘for the telly’. Arriving at 7.45, you’d be forgiven for thinking for once you’d made kick off. Alas, you haven’t. Best just grab the first seats you spot. Straight into the first block.

Family stand. This is Monster Munch stuff. In many ways, while the youngest kids in the ground- to them this is always a big night. It’s here the half-time yoof are to be found. Lourdes and Swords Celtic as far as I recall, loads of tiny lads bracing themselves for half-time and their time on the pitch. They’re here for Saint Patricks Athletic and Sporting Fingal of course,(well eh…I don’t think anyone is here for Sporting Fingal) but they’re also here for their own bit of time. Why not? This is how you get youngsters interested of course, and how you keep kids in the game.

Paddy The Panther frowns on your vulgarity

Anyway, the ball goes out about fifteen minutes in. Oh look! It’s yer man who was playing for us last year!

OI! YOU’RE A *starts with f*ING *starts with w*KER!

Yells the brother, brilliant.

GET OFF THE PITCH YOU *starts with f*ING CLOWN!

I’m in on it now too. This is great. This is probably what I missed most about football when I got stuck working Friday nights last year. Let the steam off and all that. It might as well be Sean Fitzpatrick out there.

Then it dawns on us, this is the family stand. This is where the most hot-dogs are sold, where the most ketchup is spilled, where the most bored mammies are to be found, where the smallest of the small people go. Scarleh. A quick telling to from the father and we have to watch our mouths from here on in.

Things are different in this stand alright. It’s been years since the main stand rocked too hard (bar European nights) but up the front there are a handful of youngsters giving it loads. ‘RED ARMY!’ ‘RED ARMY!’ Parents look on in a sort of ‘awwwwh, bless’ way, but only a decade ago they wouldn’t have been alone, and it’s great to see them get into it. Granted, there are more Manchester United and Liverpool shirts in this small section than Saint Patricks Athletic ones, but once they get the bug they’ll be hooked. The idea of the family stand is a great one then.

Well into the second half, and the player me and the brother were abusing earlier is taken off.

‘BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO’ rings out from the youngsters in the block, they’re learning quick. Some day, they’ll be bringing their kids here- and much like me, they’ll be mortified by a slip of the tongue no doubt. I’ll be back with the foul-mouthed oldies next week.

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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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The Patriots Inn- photo taken from alfredandmarie.com/Dublin%20Trip/Dublin.html

The Patriots Inn
760 South Circular Road Kilmainham Dublin 8.

The wise ones, we park at Kilmainham Jail. Match day. I remember a time you’d want to be arriving almost an hour before kick off to park your car before heading to see Saint Pats, ‘Dolan-mania’ it was. Those days are well and truly over. I’ve grown up, but I suppose the younger brother has always made post match pints impossible, as tempting as this pub does look.

Post booklaunch is a great time for a pint. Sure, you’ve a free glass of wine or three in you, but wine? When you’re standing there gazing up at the cells in Kilmainham Jail, and those names jump back at you, it’s a pint you want. Instantly. It’s so much to take in. Remarkably beautiful, one has to remember that that prison was allowed to fall into complete disarray, with people raiding the place for metal and anything not nailed to the ground, as trees grew out of the ground in a place once home to everyone from Wolfe Tone to Peadar O’ Donnell.

How very Irish really. We built massive “‘mon the lads!'”monuments at Kilmichael, Crossbarry and anywhere else we gave them ‘a good go’, but the most important historical site of the revolutionary years (and we’re starting the revolutionary years with 1798 here, not 1916) was allowed rot away. Volunteers (of a different kind) brought this place back to life. It is a much more fitting monument to the men and women of Irish history than any roadside piece of concrete.

The reader: The pub, you’re reviewing a pub here?

I’m getting to the pub.

It’s really handy to name a pub something like this when history kindly leaves something on your doorstep. There are pubs in this country named after everyone and anything. Wolfe Tones Pub And Bistro (and I bet there’s one somewhere), for example, might look nice from outside, but inside- it could be any pub anywhere, with no further mention of the Oirish name that got you in the door.

The first thing you see however, when you set foot in the Lounge door here, are beautiful rare photos of the jail across the road. A group of men and women standing by the cross marking the spot where almost all of the 1916 executed men fell in the early 1930s, republicans being taken to the jail by British forces, amazing photos. They go around the corner too, with more on the far side. It’s a wonderful touch. They’re not milking or ignoring what’s on their doorstep here, they’re engaging with local history perfectly.

Two highstools are spotted, and quickly taken. The people? Friendly staff, I spot two females working between the lounge and the bar. The pints clock in at €8.20 (For two, relax) and are unfaultable. I’m playing with fire here, having 15 minutes to spare before I have to get on a bus to Maynooth (have to, as students we have to go out in the town at least once a week)

Another one? Time says no, but eh…go on sure.

Two more arrive at the bar. The older Fallon spots a poster in the corner of the bar, promoting events. Unusually, the pub hosts Film Nights. This is most welcome in my own opinion. I firmly believe pubs can be a hub for a lot more than high-stool chat, and this is a perfect example.

The bar seems very much a locals bar, but this pub has a genuine warm feeling to it. Older Fallon departs for The Oak, a pub he frequented as a young(er) man and feels deserves a return trip. This one, it is agreed, also warrants a future return trip. Word on the street is that the food here is topclass too, and a quick glance over the menu reveals a very fair price-list, and food more in the Panini category than ‘terrible pub ham and cheese offerings’

Younger Fallon takes off for Maynooth, content with two fine pints, and a good fifteen minutes behind schedule.

The 66 journey is long, and alas- toiletless. Let this Random Drop Inn be the one that inspires me to include a brief summary of the toilet facilities from here on. Alas, we learn from experience.

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