Posts Tagged ‘Richmond Park’

Geography dictated that I would be a Saint Patrick’s Athletic supporter.

As a youngster, I remember my Dad couldn’t walk too far in the stadium without spotting a neighbour from Palmerstown, or the older days in Ballyfermot. This Is(n’t) England, you’d be a laughing stock if a Galway youngster decided he or she was a Derry City fan, or a Derry youngster became ‘Bohs Til I Die’. We don’t do it that way, you take what you get. The Liffey, the county border markings and local history dictate these things. Suburbs all go in together.

Glenville Football Club however are right on my doorstep. I don’t play football (I’m dire), but I follow it. I don’t know too much about the local Football Clubs, but Glenville have come to my attention recently owing to the fact they’ve drawn League of Ireland champions Bohemian F.C in the Cup. A big day out, to say the least.

We are located off the Kennelsfort road in Palmerstown, Dublin 20 in the Community School

You can nearly spot them from the door.

Hopefully, local residents will come out in force to support them in the clash. It’s not going to be easy, and it would probably be one of the largest upsets in the history of the Cup, but imagine. The local pubs can, and it’s probably a pretty picture. The club were founded in 1997, and spend their weekends in Senior 1A.

If we want to see football grow as a local, community game – a Glenville F.C victory wouldn’t be a bad thing!

Sunday June 6 @ 3.00 in Richmond Pk. FORZA PALMERSTOWN!

The Silver Granite pub, image taken from http://www.glenvillefc.com

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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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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.


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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