Shel’s are back

By Kathrin Kobus

Friday the 13th September 2019 brought happiness back for Shelbourne FC. It was the day the team around coach Ian Morris travelled to Drogheda to clinch the First Division title and trophy with an away win. The date aptly mirrored the result, 1:3 win for the visitors and joyous scenes afterwards to celebrate the trophy and the return, finally to the Irish Premier Division.

celebrations on Friday 13th, photograph Inpho/Ryan Byrne

Shelbourne FC is at home in Tolka park North of the East wall in Drumcondra but its fan and partly player base reaches well into Ringsend. So much so that for John “Scotchie” Byrne the ‘Ringsend Reds’ are finally back where they belong.

John Scotchie Byrne with kitman John Watson on the night to remember

He was one of the 2, 600 supporters who had travelled up there from Dublin and he is nearly over the Moon when talking about what this promotion means to him:  “Next season Dublin will have a unique distinction of having two teams in the elite division of Irish football. Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne. That promises two derby games. The Reds support has been pining for these fixtures’ return for years. Now they hope to finally and rightfully take their place at the top table.”

Rewind to the year 2006 when Shelbourne FC fell literally apart, had to be withdrawn from Setanta cup and lost the licence 2007. Over a decade later and ‘the past is a foreign country’; a hungry young Shelbourne team is back. “Near bankruptcy some years ago, the club’s members pulled together and fought to keep the club afloat. With a young manager, committed players and not to forget or dare to dismiss the ferocious and loyal support Shelbourne FC hopes to probe they are back for the long haul where they rightly belong.“ so Scotchie.

The new season will start in February. To drum up more support and followers Johnny Byrne and Kitman Johnny Watson plan to put the Frist division trophy up for show at some evening before Christmas.