Holycross Soccer Club - 50th Anniversary
Holycross AFC reached an auspicious club milestone on Saturday night 27 May 2017, when it celebrated the 50th anniversary of its foundation at Bulgaden Castle Lounge. And it was certainly a lively affair, being very well supported on the night by club members and supporters. Mike Barry acted as MC, filling in for club chairman Andrew McNamara, whose arrival was a little delayed.
Following a brief welcome, members of the 1967 and 1977 teams were presented with memorial medals by current A-Team manager Micheál Costello, deceased players being represented by family members or former friends. Fr John Daly (PP Bruff) then made a short speech in which he referred to the efforts and perseverance of past members in assisting the club to reach its 50th, before saying a prayer for all deceased members. Michael O'Regan of the LDMC and MFA then spoke, and referred to the achievements of the club in the past, and also in achieving promotion to the Premier League in season 2016/17, particularly emphasising the importance of the club's B-Team next season, and its support of the high-flying A-Team. In addition, Michael gave the good news that he had secured 50 free schoolboy tickets for the club from the FAI for the Ireland v Serbia game on 05 September 2017.
Time then for some 'Lifetime Service' awards and that of 'Clubman of the Year'. Tommy O'Connell, Francis Moloney, Denis Flavin and Mike Barry were recipients of the lifetime service awards, and club secretary Dave Clancy was announced as the '2016/17 Clubman of the Year', to much applause and obvious approval from all present. The awards were presented by last years 'Clubman' winner PJ Mulcahy.
The 50th anniversary commemorative club book, produced with much toil and sweat over recent months by club mentor & member Maurice Patterson, was then officially launched with the first copy being presented to Adam Reardon, representing his dad John, the club's life President (copies are available from Marella Cregan or from an committee member at € 10). The publication is extremely impressive with many club articles, season summaries and numerous photos.
Mike Barry then made a short speech on his memories of his first involvement with the club in the late 1970s, mentioning a number of deceased past members. Local band Nightfall blasted out the tunes thereafter and a DJ provided the final musical frolics.
Overall, the night was considered a great success by the organisers and by all present, with a great party atmosphere throughout. It was particularly pleasing to see older players from the 1960s era engrossed in conversation with each other of past club and sporting memories. Younger members were also to the fore, demonstrating that their fitness levels are still high following the end of the season of recent weeks, showing some great moves on the dance floor (and off), right to the final whistle!
Many great servants and supporters of the club, past and present, were in attendance, including pitch provider of many seasons Austin Cregan, chief groundsman Tom O'Sullivan, Junior team managers Brian O'Sullivan and Micheál Costello, lifetime servant of the game & schoolboy league supremo over many many years Bill Hayes, the two Pats (Enright & Murphy), former managers Johnny O'Connell & Gerard Higgins, and so many others who are far too numerous to mention.
Many are already looking forward to the next one on 27 May 2067 (8pm at Bulgaden Castle!). Denis Flavin is laying odds that he will not be present when that one comes around. Let's see!
A few photos!