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Shamrock Rovers History

Sun 15 May 2022 | 4:30

Histroy holds so many secrets! today we are going to reveal some secets in our Shamrock Rovers history.

So we are here to discover

Shamrock Rovers history

! The club is an Irish association football club headquartered in Tallaght, South Dublin. The club's senior team participates in the League of Ireland Premier Division and it is the most successful club in the Republic of Ireland.

 The team has won the League of Ireland championship a record 19 times and the

FAI Cup

a record 25 times. Shamrock Rovers have given more players to the Republic of Ireland national football team than any other club. In All-Ireland events, such as the Intercity Cup, they hold the record for winning the most titles, having won seven cups overall.

Shamrock Rovers were formed in Ringsend, Dublin. The official date of the club's creation is 1899. They won the League championship on the first try in the 1922–23 season and established themselves as the Republic of Ireland's most successful club by 1949, collecting 44 major honors. During the 1950s, the club won three League championships and two FAI Cups and became the first Irish team to compete in European competition, playing in the European Cup in 1957.

They followed this by winning a record six FAI Cups consecutively in the 1960s when they were also one of the European club teams who spent the summer of 1967 in the United States, creating the United Soccer Association. They won the first of four League titles in succession in 1983–84, following a protracted downturn.

Shamrock Rovers History, most successful club in Republic of Ireland

Let's start Sportmob's Shamrock Rovers history with some further details. The team played at Glenmalure Park from 1926 to 1987, when the owners controversially surrendered the ground to property developers.

Shamrock Rovers spent the following 22 years playing home games at different sites across Dublin and on occasions, Ireland. They relocated into Tallaght Stadium ahead of the start of the 2009 season following years of delays and legal challenges, during which time the club's supporters saved them from extinction.

Shamrock Rovers used green and white striped jerseys until 1926 when they adopted the green and white hooped strip that they have worn ever since. Its club badge has included a football and a shamrock throughout its history.

The club has a rather significant support base and enjoys a fierce rivalry with Bohemian Football Club. On 26 August 2011 Rovers became the first Irish side to enter the group stages of either of the top two. European tournaments by overcoming

Partizan Belgrade

in the play-off round of the Europa League. Now let's get into the club's birth story in the next part of our

Shamrock Rovers history

.

Shamrock Rovers Birth

The origin of Shamrock Rovers is debated amongst followers of the club. No formal record of the era survives. For many years the first known reference of the club in the newspaper records at the National Library of Ireland comes from 1901 and an article in the club program dated 28 December 1941 asserts that the club was formed in this year.

Research by the Shamrock Rovers Heritage Trust unearthed a very brief item in the Evening Herald from April 1899 on a match between Shamrock Rovers and Rosemount, has shown that the club was in existence from at least that period.

The only two certainties concerning the history of the club in regards to the year they were created are the fact that Rovers played only exhibition games for the first two years of its existence and the club registered with the Leinster Football Association in 1901.

Essentially, the disagreement is over whether the two years of exhibition games were played before or after the registration. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the date 1899 was printed on the gates of Glenmalure Park but since the 1990s, 1901 has been adopted as the founding year by the successive regimes who have administered the club.

In light of the revelation of information confirming a foundation date before April 1899, the club created an 1899 Suite in Tallaght Stadium in February 2017. In 1914, they were reconstituted and started playing their matches at Ringsend Park.

On 17 April 1915, the side won the Irish Junior Cup, which was then the highest junior championship held on an all-Ireland basis. They beat Derry Celtic Swifts 1–0 in the final, played in Dublin. However, Ringsend park became inaccessible after two years.

 The club collapsed and played only exhibition games for the following five years. In 1921, Shamrock Rovers were resurrected once again, as a Leinster Senior League team, and reached the final of the first FAI Cup, where they lost to St James's Gate in a tie marked by crowd violence.

.By the completion of their sixth season in the League of

Ireland

, the team had won three League crowns and one FAI Cup. During the 1930s, the club won a further three League championships and five FAI Cups with Irish internationals, Paddy Moore and Jimmy Dunne playing vital parts in their success, supported by audiences of up to 30,000 people at Glenmalure Park.

By 1949, Shamrock Rovers had established themselves as Ireland's most successful football club. Their 44 major achievements included six League of Ireland championships, 11 FAI Cups, seven League of Ireland Shields, six Leinster Senior Cups, two Dublin City Cups, four Intercity Cups, and eight President's Cups.

The Coad's impact

In November 1949, following the death of Jimmy Dunne, Paddy Coad took the job of player-manager having played with the club for over eight years, in which time he had established himself as one of the top players in the League of Ireland.

Coad opted for a bold youth philosophy and throughout the course of his first three years in command, signed nearly the entire schoolboy international team to Rovers. He implemented new training techniques with an increased focus on technical skill and possession which resulted in a quick, passing style of football that contributed immensely to the growth of the game in Ireland.

In 1954, the club won the League of Ireland for the first time in fifteen years, while Paddy Ambrose concluded the season as the team's best scorer. Led by players like Liam Tuohy and Coad himself, the club known as Coad's Colts proceeded to win two more league championships and two FAI Cups, finishing the golden period of Irish football as one of its most successful teams.

After the departure of Coad in 1960 and an unsuccessful season under Albie Murphy, Seán Thomas took on the role of rebuilding the Rovers team which had suffered from the break-up of Coad's Colts. Paddy Ambrose and Ronnie Nolan had remained with the club and were joined by a huge range of players including Irish internationals, Frank O’Neill and Johnny Fullam.

The decision of Liam Tuohy to return to the club as captain, after four successful years at Newcastle United, effectively saw the completion of Thomas' side. The club won every domestic title except the Top Four Competition in the 1963–64 season and was barely beaten by holders and eventual finalists, Valencia, in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

Thomas, however, resigned from the Hoops at the end of the season following a dispute with the Cunninghams (Owners) about squad selection. Liam Tuohy took over as player-manager and led the team to a further five FAI Cups in succession, completing a total of six, including a 3–0 defeat of League of Ireland winners, Waterford in 1968, in front of 40,000 fans at Dalymount Park.

The summer of 1967 had been spent in the United States, participating in the establishment of the United Soccer Association, when Rovers represented Boston as Boston Rovers. The 1968–69 season saw Mick Leech score a total of 56 goals for the club, including two in the penultimate FAI Cup final of the Six in a Row period, against Cork Celtic.

The ups and downs

We all know history has its own ups and downs so let's talk about them in this part of Shamrock Rovers history. The Hoops' defeat to Shelbourne in the first round of the FAI Cup in 1970, their first defeat in 32 Cup games spanning seven years, signaled the start of the fall in the fortunes of the club.

Despite just narrowly losing out on the League championship in the 1970–71 season in contentious circumstances, the next twelve years proved to be a disaster for the club both on and off the field.

On 25 April 1971, Rovers played Cork Hibs at Dalymount in a League play-off watched by 28,000 people. Their pre-match preparation was thrown into turmoil as players and directors battled over win bonuses. Hibs won the play-off 3–1.

The next season, the Cunninghams, now under the management of sons Arthur and Des, sold the club to three brothers from Dublin; Paddy, Barton and Louis Kilcoyne. The Kilcoyne's had observed decades of big attendances at Irish football games and aspired to take over the club solely for commercial reasons.

However, within the space of five years, the enormous audiences withdrew from Irish football arenas and paired with the death of Drumcondra and Cork Hibs, the loss in fortunes of a number of elite teams and the lack of action by the FAI, the League of Ireland was thrown into a catastrophic decline.

Faced with falling attendances, the Kilcoynes decided to starve the club and sold off senior players who were replaced by youth footballers.

On a trip of Japan in 1975, Mick Meagan and Theo Dunne's youthful side overcame the Japanese national team 3–2 in front of 60,000 people at the Olympic Stadium, however that triumph was the highlight of a season that saw the team finish bottom of the table and re-apply for entry into the League of Ireland.

In 1976, Meagan and Dunne resigned from the club and were replaced by Seán Thomas, the architect of the Six in a Row side, who with limited resources, re-signed Johnny Fullam and Mick Leech, as well as John Conway from

Bohemians

.

Rovers concluded the 1976–77 season in eleventh but won the club's only League of Ireland Cup, with Leech's 250th career goal being the difference versus Sligo. In July 1977, Irish international player-manager John Giles returned to Dublin to take up the same post at Rovers.

The Kilcoynes launched a full-time strategy and disclosed plans to reconstruct Glenmalure Park into a 50,000 all-seater stadium as well as converting the club into a school of excellence for Irish football, capable of vying for European trophies. Giles signed Irish internationals, Ray Treacy, Eamon Dunphy and Paddy Mulligan to bolster the young structure.

In his first season in charge, the club won their 21st FAI Cup, defeating Sligo in a controversial final, but despite that success and emphatic victories in European competition against

Apoel Nicosia

and Fram Reykjavík, Giles' conservative approach based on possession football proved unsuccessful and on 3 February 1983, he resigned. Now let's move on to next section of Shamrock Rovers history.

No place to call home

Shortly after winning their 14th League championship, Louis Kilcoyne revealed that the Kilcoynes were selling Glenmalure Park,which they had recently bought from the Jesuits. The club played the whole 1987–88 season at a nearly deserted Tolka Park as a result of a boycott called for by the Shamrock Rovers Supporters Club and KRAM, which was observed by the vast majority of Hoops fans.

Following the end of the boycott season in Tolka, the Kilcoynes sold the football club to Dublin businessman John McNamara, who put forth a contentious plan to join in with Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

KRAM convened to vote on whether to end the boycott and on the plan to move to Dalymount. Both motions were approved and the club spent the following two seasons at the Phibsboro venue, with an unrecognizable squad playing in front of minuscule attendances.

As the 1989–90 season completed, the club announced that they were moving to the RDS in Ballsbridge, roughly midway between

Ringsend

and Milltown on the Southside of Dublin. On 30 September 1990, the RDS played home to Shamrock Rovers against

St. Patrick's Athletic

, in front of roughly 25,000 spectators.

 They started the 1995–96 season badly and by late that season, after almost two years of mounting supporter displeasure with the handling of the club, Treacy quit, with McNamara following him shortly afterward. One of McNamara's final acts was to appoint Alan O'Neill and Terry Eviston, who had both returned to the club in 1993, as joint managers of the side. They succeeded in reducing the fear of relegation and almost steered the squad to European qualifying.

Guests of Tallaght stadium

The 2009 season proved to be a progressive one for the club, commencing with the building of the stadium and concluding with a second-place result and qualifying to the Europa League under the supervision of Michael O'Neill.

Tallaght Stadium hosted the greatest attendances in the League of Ireland, routinely selling out its capacity. The season was also remembered by the visit of

Real Madrid

to Tallaght Stadium when they defeated The Hoops 1–0 in front of a record audience of 10,900 spectators.

 The squad joined the 2010–11 Europa League in the second qualifying round and overcame Bnei Yehuda of Israel to go to a third qualifying round encounter against

Juventus

. The Italian team won the contest 3–0 on aggregate.

Shamrock Rovers ended the 2010 season as champions, breaking a 16-year drought by narrowly defeating Bohemians to the title on goal difference. Rovers also progressed to the FAI Cup final, the first in the Aviva Stadium, when, in front of a crowd of over 30,000, they were defeated on penalties by Sligo Rovers.

The time of unstability

The team experienced something of a lean time after the highs of the 2011 season. Michael O'Neill departed to lead the Northern Ireland national team and was succeeded by Stephen Kenny. However, Kenny was sacked after less than a complete season in 2012.

His replacement Trevor Croly similarly did not survive a full season as manager despite winning two minor titles, the League Cup and Setanta Cup in 2013. Pat Fenlon a former Rovers player was appointed the next season but he too failed to win significant prizes.

In 2016 he was replaced by Stephen Bradley, another former player, who at the time was coaching one of the club's junior sides. It took some time for Bradley to construct a successful squad to challenge the then dominating

Dundalk

.

However, via developing young players and astute singings such as Jack Byrne, Rovers progressively improved under Bradley's guidance. In 2019 Bradley's squad won the FAI Cup, defeating Dundalk after penalties in the final, before a crowd of nearly 33,000, the first time that Rovers had won the Cup since 1987.

The next season, a period cut by the Covid-19 epidemic, Rovers won a shortened league season undefeated. In the Europa League, qualifying stages Rovers were barely defeated 2-0 by Italian heavyweights

AC Milan

.

The colors and symbols

Let's finish Sportmob's 

Shamrock Rovers history

with some colors. Until 1926, Shamrock Rovers used green and white striped jerseys but following a recommendation by a committee member, John Sheridan, the club elected to adopt the green and white hooped strip. A tight relationship existed between the club and Belfast Celtic and it was on account of this that the notion was created.

The first game with the new jerseys was against Bray Unknowns in an FAI Cup match on 9 January 1927 at Shelbourne Park. The Hoops lost the game 3–0 and top members of the team pondered discarding the new strip. Despite this setback, the squad continued to wear green and white hoops and have done ever since.

The 2007 season was the first season since the hoops were introduced that they were not continuous around the main body of the jersey. The design of the shirt sleeves has been modified on various occasions.

The away colors of the club have evolved throughout time. In the early 1980s, the club had a yellow away jersey. In the mid-1990s, a hooped purple jersey was used. In 2011, the squad donned an all-black away strip.

The club insignia contains a football and a shamrock and has done so throughout the history of the club. Minor adjustments to the club badge have included modifying the shape of the shamrock and the width of the diagonal lines.

In 2005, a star was put above the logo to symbolize the first 10 League of Ireland titles won by the team. After the takeover of the club by the supporters, black became the club's third official color in memory of the loss of Glenmalure Park. It was also agreed that the number 12 would no longer be worn by any Shamrock Rovers player and instead would symbolize the club's fans. Thanks for reading hamrock Rovers history.

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