Excitement builds as much anticipated Limerick football book nears completion

Pat Sheehan

Reporter:

Pat Sheehan

Email:

sport@limerickleader.ie

Excitement builds as much anticipated Limerick football book nears completion

Wembley, 1962 In Pa Healy's Jim Calvert, at back; sitting on wall, Tom Piggott. John Griffin, Joseph Power, Garrett Griffin, Mark Lawlor.

When three people sat down in January 2013 to discuss the feasibility of producing a history of Schoolboy Soccer in Limerick, little did they think that five years later they would still be wrapped up in the project.

Well the good news for all Limerick Soccer fans is that the end product is finally nearing fruition and Authors Christy Brennan, Sean Curtin and Gerry McCormack have dredged the archives and traipsed the town and beyond in their search for material that has seen them compile a book that will have a whopping 900 pages-plus in their final publication.

While the end is in sight, they are still a little bit away from sending to print, as there are lots of captions to be sought, proof-reading to be done and a myriad of little things to be sorted out.

Beginning with Prospect’s first Juvenile League win (U16), in 1931 the trio have traced a fact filled walk through time for eight decades.

While Limerick has won only two club National Cups, both by Vereker Clements in the late 1970s, and a couple of Kennedy Cups, the written history of schoolboy soccer locally is truly amazing.

A number of local leading lights in the early history of the code have been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the book and are hugely enthusiastic about the upcoming publication.

Tom Kirby, who played with Artisans was able to put names to the 1951 Shelbourne team to win the Juvenile Cup while Des Cowhey, who wrote about Reds United in the late 1930s, also went through the early part of the book and was greatly impressed.

The old reliable Brian O’Brien and Mike Doyle enthusiastically proof-read and wrote captions for the Pike Rovers and Reds United teams.

Research has proven problematic with newspaper coverage pretty scant in some seasons.

Neither of the local libraries had a full collection of the Limerick Weekly Echo files which meant that the National Library of Ireland in Dublin was the port of call for virtually two years of Christy Brennan’s life.

Each page had to be printed and while local libraries charged 10c per page our friends in the National Library had a tariff of 50c a sheet.

Because of volume of the book it will have to be bound in a hard back cover, increasing the production costs and as such will only be printed to order.

The three authors are to be commended on the efforts which has produced a serious body of work. It is a priceless history of Schoolboy Soccer in the city which will be referred to for generations to come.

It is proposed to launch the book in mid-May, 2018 and over the next few weeks details of how to pre order your copy will be announced.