The King of Cambridge

King of Cambridge

It is often said that when God closes a door, He opens a window. Rarely do instances of supposed failure evolve into stories of heroic success, but that is certainly true of the case of Irishtown resident Alan ‘King of Cambridge’ Kinsella.

In November of last year, Alan made the audacious move of applying for the then-vacant managerial position of the Republic of Ireland national football team in the wake of Giovanni Trapattoni’s departure. In early December ‘The King’ received a reply from the footballing body informing him of his unsuccessful application for the post.

This is a distinction of a kind, given that out of all the potential managers scouted by the FAI, Alan was the only individual to receive an official letter from the organisation.

The response sent shockwaves throughout the community but it merely provided the catalyst for Alan to ensure that a positive outcome would result from his new-found local celebrity status.

Alan, who suffered a stroke over a year and a half ago, is still being cared for by Neurology staff of St. Vincent’s hospital. With help from friends, including Michael Behan, Alan decided to put together a charity walk in aid of St. Vincent’s Foundation/Neurology Section. King Kinsella’s Walk took place on May 5th in Ringsend Park, in conjunction with the Fun Run/Our Town project and Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre’s Annual Parade.

All the money raised goes directly to St. Vincent’s Foundation/Neurology Section and The King has raised €1,893 for the cause to date. John Hickey, CEO of St. Vincent’s Foundation stated “this terrific result will make a huge contribution to our care for patients in Neurology.”

Alan told us how his life has changed since the fateful day that the FAI got back to contact him.

“It was a journey that we enjoyed; it was great craic, and the laugh that other people got out of it was unbelievable.”

Dubbed the King of Cambridge since his schooldays playing for Cambridge Boys FC, Alan boasts a significant soccer pedigree. During his playing days from the early seventies to 1981, he lined up alongside such legends as ‘Rocky’ O’Brien and Jody Byrne, and managed by Leo McDonagh.

Alan was a staple of the Cambridge Boys Under 17 and Under 18’s teams that won the then Pepsi Cup at schoolboy level two years on the trot, an achievement that has not been matched since.

Alan expresses his gratitude to those he played under and alongside, both living and deceased, and credits them with moulding him and those around him into who they are today.

“For those who have passed away; Terry Dent’s father, Mr. Dent, Michael Waters, John Byrne, Tony Caldwell and the manager, Leo McDonagh, who gave us every help since we were kids, brought us up the way we are to get this far, the man who made it possible for us to win trophies.”

All donations for St Vincent’s Foundation/Neurology Section are completely voluntary and go towards patient care, research and education. Donations can be made via

By Craig Kinsella