Archive for September, 2007

Home Farm Drumcondra – A Historic Merger

Our sixth league game of the 1977-78 season was against Home Farm, which was effectively a merger of two of Dublin’s oldest clubs. Drumcondra was founded in 1923, and four years later won the Free State Cup. They joined the league in 1928, the same year that Home Farm was founded as a schoolboy club playing in the Altar Boys league. Both clubs were based about a mile apart on Dublin’s northside, close to where I now went to school, and between them they helped to shape much of the tradition of Irish football history. (more…)

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September 30, 2007 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Thur Sep 29, 1977 – Bohs Pair Sign for Derby

Well, that didn’t take long. Thirty years ago yesterday, new Derby County manager Tommy Docherty had hired a private jet to fly to the Newcastle Bohs game. He then slept overnight in the sauna room of the hotel that Bohs were staying in, after offering Bohs a record-breaking £75,000 for Fran O’Brien and Gerry Ryan. As it happens, I have a very minor personal experience of Docherty’s eccentricity. Many years later, in 1998, when I was travelling on the Eurostar train to the World Cup Final in Paris, I was woken from my snoozing by a loud voice checking train tickets. It turned out to be an extremely drunk Tommy Docherty, pretending to be a ticket inspector. He didn’t even have a ticket for the World Cup Final; he was just going across anyway to watch the game in a French pub. (more…)

September 29, 2007 at 12:01 am 2 comments

Wed Sep 28, 1977 – Newcastle Utd 4 Bohs 0

Thirty years ago today, I was glued to the radio listening to commentary on the second-leg European action. The omens for the Irish clubs were not great. Sligo Rovers, already three goals behind against Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup, had erected a six-foot fence around their pitch to deter hooligans in their 6,000-strong crowd, far less than the expected full house. Dundalk took a one nil lead to Yugoslavia to face Hajduk Split in the Cup-Winners Cup, but they had left two key players behind at Dublin Airport after the club had refused to reimburse Tommy McConville and Tony Cavanagh their dole money while away. Dundalk did, however, still have the pair’s gear available as it had already been checked onto the flight. And Bohs had arrived absolutely jaded in Newcastle, thirteen hours after checking in at Dublin Airport, after a flight delayed for six hours by fog was followed by a three-hour coach trip from Manchester. (more…)

September 28, 2007 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Sun Sep 25, 1977 – Galway Rovers 0 Bohs 0

Thirty years ago today, the Irish media’s sporting focus was on the All-Ireland Gaelic football final. Outside Croke Park, with thousands of fans deterred by recent crowd violence at big games, the Gardai were infuriating touts by giving away decks of unsold tickets. Inside the stadium, Dublin beat Armagh before the second-lowest final attendance in a quarter of a century, which was still massively more than the combined crowds at all of the League of Ireland matches that Sunday. Not that I can complain, because I stayed at home and watched The Big Match on UTV, before fantasising about Felicity Kendall in The Good Life, instead of travelling to Galway for Bohs’ fifth league game of the season. (more…)

September 25, 2007 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

Wed Sep 21, 1977 – Ireland 2 League of Ireland 1

Thirty years ago today, we had a second big midweek game in a row, as a League of Ireland team, managed by Jim McLaughlin of Dundalk, played the Ireland international team at Dalymount. The crowd was about half of the 25,000 that had showed up for our game against Newcastle. The shed end echoed with competing chants: ‘Ireland, Ireland!’ and ‘League of Ireland, League of Ireland!’ I instinctively supported the domestic players. They were the ones I watched week in week out, not only the three Bohs players on the team, but even those who played for teams that I hated. They were ‘we’, in a much more real way than the Irish international team could ever be, traveling over ‘to’ Ireland from their usual location inside our television sets. (more…)

September 21, 2007 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

What Does it Mean to Be an Irish Sports Fan?

This is a copy of a piece that I published in July on my other blog, That’s Ireland. And it has a very interesting comment posted by blogger Paige Harrison.

In a sporting sense, what does it mean to ‘be’ Irish? I pondered this last night as hundreds of white-clad fans with Dublin accents chanted ‘Yorkshire! Yorkshire!’ at the Shels versus Leeds game at Tolka Park. I have supported Bohs and Leeds since I was a child. I also support Ireland, and generally support any League of Ireland team that is playing in Europe. If Bohs were playing Leeds, I would always want Bohs to win. Yet last night, I wanted Leeds to beat Shels. So my football allegiance is clearly not based on my nationality. However, I started to follow Leeds mainly because Johnny Giles played for Leeds, and he was Irish. And, while I had no problem hearing Dublin accents chanting for Leeds last night, I was frankly baffled to hear them chanting ‘Yorkshire!’ (more…)

September 20, 2007 at 11:45 pm 2 comments

Sun Sep 18, 1977 – Bohs 0 Thurles Town 0

Thirty years ago today, the crowd of 25,000 who packed Dalymount for the game against Newcastle must all have had something else to do on this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. A pitifully small crowd turned up to see Bohs face Thurles Town, who had been surprisingly elected to the league ahead of Bray Wanderers. I had a bad feeling as I got on the 19A to Dalymount. After our awesome performance against Newcastle, today should have been Goliath’s angry big brother against David’s pacifist twin. But I was also a Leeds fan. And the last three weekends results were: Leeds and Bohs both won, Leeds and Bohs both drew, Leeds and Bohs both won. Ominously, Leeds had drawn with Derby the previous day, so it looked as if the football Gods had decreed a similar outcome today. (more…)

September 18, 2007 at 12:01 am 29 comments

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A Blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about following Bohs in the 1970s. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write That's Ireland, a blog about living in the maddest country on earth.

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That’s Ireland

As mentioned above, if for some strange reason there is more to your life than football, I also write That's Ireland, a blog about living in the maddest country on earth.