Drumcondra F.C.

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Drumcondra F.C.
Drumcondra F.C. crest.png
Full nameDrumcondra Football Club
Nickname(s)Drums
Founded1923
GroundClonturk Park
Morton Stadium
Tolka Park
Capacity400
League League of Ireland
Leinster Senior League
Amateur Football League
North Dublin Schoolboys/Girls League
Dublin & District Schoolboys League
Website Club website

Drumcondra Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drumcondra, Dublin. Their senior team play in the Leinster Senior League Senior Division 1A. [1] Drumcondra FC also field a team in the Major 1B Saturday Division of the LSL.

Contents

Prominence

Drumcondra came to national prominence, in 1926–27, while playing in the Leinster Senior League and with a team that included Joe Grace and Johnny Murray, Drums won the inaugural FAI Intermediate Cup. They then completed a cup double by also winning the 1926–27 FAI Cup. In the FAI Intermediate Cup final they defeated Cobh Ramblers while in the FAI Cup final they defeated Brideville. In 1927–28 Drums won the Leinster Senior League and also reached the 1927–28 FAI Cup final. [2] [3]

League of Ireland

In 1928–29 Drumcondra made their League of Ireland debut and finished a respectable fourth in their first season. However Drums would have to wait until the late 1940s before they won their first league title. Then with a team that included, among others, Benny Henderson, Dessie Glynn, Chris Giles, Kevin Clarke, Kit Lawlor and Tim Coffey, they won two in a row in 1947–48 and 1948–49. [4]

In 1953 Sam Prole, a wealthy man from Dundalk who had made his money from the Great Northern Railway, bought Drumcondra from the Hunter family. Prole introduced pitch-side advertising and in 1953 installed floodlights at Tolka Park. As a result, Drumcondra became the first League of Ireland club to have floodlights. [5] [6] [7]

Season placings

  • 1928–29 – 4
  • 1929–30 – 7
  • 1930–31 – 11
  • 1931–32 – 9
  • 1932–33 – 10
  • 1933–34 – 7
  • 1934–35 – 9
  • 1935–36 – 9
  • 1936–37 – 6
  • 1937–38 – 12
  • 1938–39 – 8
  • 1939–40 – 6
  • 1940–41 – 6
  • 1941–42 – 9
  • 1942–43 – 3
  • 1943–44 – 6
  • 1944–45 – 4
  • 1945–46 – 2
  • 1946–47 – 2
  • 1947–48 – 1
  • 1948–49 – 1
  • 1949–50 – 2
  • 1950–51 – 3
  • 1951–52 – 6
  • 1952–53 – 2
  • 1953–54 – 3
  • 1954–55 – 6
  • 1955–56 – 8
  • 1956–57 – 2
  • 1957–58 – 1
  • 1958–59 – 5
  • 1959–60 – 9
  • 1960–61 – 1
  • 1961–62 – 7
  • 1962–63 – 3
  • 1963–64 – 8
  • 1964–65 – 1
  • 1965–66 – 7
  • 1966–67 – 8
  • 1967–68 – 7
  • 1968–69 – 9
  • 1969–70 – 14
  • 1970–71 – 14
  • 1971–72 – 12

Statistics

StatOpponentScoreCompetitionDate
Biggest League Win Sligo Rovers 8–0 1960–61 League of Ireland 22 January 1961
Biggest League Defeat Cork United 1–9 1945–46 League of Ireland 13 January 1946

Rivalry with Shamrock Rovers

During their time in the League of Ireland Drumcondra enjoyed a strong rivalry with Shamrock Rovers. In 1928–29 when Drums made their League of Ireland debut, their first opponents were Rovers. This first meeting between Drums and Rovers ended in a 1–1 draw. During the 1940s and 1950s large crowds gathered to see the Northside/Southside derby fixtures between the two clubs. During this time Drumcondra played Rovers in four FAI Cup finals in 1946, 1948, 1955 and 1957. The two clubs shared the honours, winning two finals each. In 1946 with a team that featured Con Martin, Robin Lawler, Kevin Clarke and Jimmy Lawlor, Drums won their third FAI Cup final after defeating Rovers 2–1 with goals from Tommy McCormack and Benny Henderson. The rivalry reached its peak during the late 1950s. At the time Drums squad included, among others, Alan Kelly, John O'Neill and Kit Lawlor. The 1956–57 season saw Rovers win the League of Ireland title, while Drums finished second. The opening game of the League of Ireland season saw the two teams meet at Tolka Park. The venue was packed to capacity with a crowd of 15,000. Rovers defeated Drums 2–0 in the Leinster Senior Cup final and then won the Dublin City Cup final on corners. However Drums defeated Rovers 2–0 in the 1956–57 FAI Cup final, thanks to goals from Bunny Fullam and Willie Coleman, and then 3–0 in the semi-final of the Top Four Cup a week later. A crowd of 20,000 turned up on 26 December 1956 to watch the Leinster Senior Cup final. The FAI Cup final on 28 April 1957 saw an attendance of 30,000 while the Top Four semi-final on 5 May 1957 was watched by 16,845. All three games were played at Dalymount Park. The rivalry continued into the 1957–58 season with Rovers and Drums meeting in the finals of the Leinster Senior Cup, the Top Four Cup, the Dublin City Cup and the LFA President's Cup. Rovers won all four. However Drums did finish the season as League of Ireland champions, finishing two points clear of second placed Rovers. Drums and Rovers games continued to attract large crowds and on occasions this created some issues. On 26 January 1958 the first-ever all ticket League of Ireland game between Drums and Rovers had to be abandoned, after sixty-five minutes, after thousands of ticketless fans forced their way into an already packed Tolka Park. This in turn led to crowd encroachment on the pitch. Rovers were leading 2–1 at the time and the result was allowed to stand. In 1964–65 when Drums won their fifth League of Ireland title they finished one point clear of runners-up Rovers. [3] [6] [8]

Merging with Home Farm

In the late 1960s Drumcondra went into decline. In both 1969–70 and 1970–71 Drums finished last place in the league. They were also £6,000 in debt. At the end of the 1971–72 season the team was effectively taken over by Home Farm when, after almost twenty years in charge, Sam Prole agreed to sell the club. Drums final league game in their own right was a 1–1 draw with Shelbourne at Tolka Park on 5 April 1972. It was announced by Brendan Menton Sr., Home Farm honorary secretary, that the amateur club had taken over the entire share capital of their professional neighbouring club. During the 1972–73 season the side played as Home Farm-Drumcondra, however within a season the Drumcondra name was dropped and from the start of 1973–74 the side simply became Home Farm. [6] Sam Prole subsequently became involved with Dundalk F.C. and a number of former Drumcondra players including Shay Noonan, Johnny Robinson, Willie Coleman, Ned Halpin and Tommy Rowe joined him at the Oriel Park club. [9]

Revival

Drumcondra F.C. was reformed in the mid 1970s, not long after the demise of the original club. However, by the early 2000s they had relocated to Santry, playing their home games at Morton Stadium. They reached the third round of the 2004 FAI Cup but lost 5–0 to UCD. Over the years there were a number of amalgamations with local clubs coming under the Drumcondra F.C. banner, the most significant of which was with Drumcondra Athletic a club formed in the early 1990s who went on to also achieve LSL Intermediate status prior to amalgamating with Drumcondra F.C. [10] [11] [12] [13]

European record

Drumcondra qualified for European football on five occasions during the late 1950s and early 1960s. They made their home European debut on 1 October 1958 in a European Cup against Atlético Madrid at Dalymount Park. They had already lost the away leg 8–0 and would subsequently lose the home leg 5–1. The highlight of their European adventures came in the 1962–63 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Drums became the first League of Ireland side to register an aggregate win in European competition when they knocked out an Odense XI in the first round. In the second round they were beaten 6–0 away by Bayern Munich in the first leg. However, in the return game they earned a 1–0 win with Billy Dixon scoring the winning goal. [14] [15]

Overview

CompetitionMatchesWDLGFGA
European Cup
6
1
0
5
3
25
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
6
2
0
4
8
20
TOTAL
12
3
0
9
11
45

Matches

SeasonCompetitionRoundOpponentHomeAway Aggregate
1958–59 European Cup PR Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg Atlético Madrid 1–50–81–13
1961–62 European Cup PR Flag of Germany.svg Nürnberg 1–40–51–9
1962–63 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1R Flag of Denmark.svg Odense XI 4–12–46–5
2R Flag of Germany.svg Bayern Munich 1–00–61–7
1965–66 European Cup PR Flag of Germany.svg Vorwärts Berlin 1–00–31–3
1966–67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup PR Flag of Germany.svg Eintracht Frankfurt 0–21–61–8

Home grounds

During their time in the League of Ireland, Drumcondra played their home games at Tolka Park. In more recent seasons they have played at Morton Stadium. They currently play at their new base in Baskin Lane, North County Dublin, which they moved to in advance of the 2019/20 LSL season.

Team colours

Drumcondra's colours are essentially gold/yellow and royal blue. In their later seasons in the League of Ireland they also played in a sky blue strip. At various times they wore blue/gold hoops with white shorts before adopting a more modern European style gold with a blue v-neck and blue shorts in 1954.

Notable former players

Dual Ireland internationals
Republic of Ireland internationals

Johnny Murray represented Ireland at the 1924 Summer Olympics In 1926, Joe Grace became the first player to represent Ireland while playing for Drumcondra. The club were still playing in the Leinster Senior League at the time. In the 1930s Paddy Byrne, Tommy Donnelly, Freddie Hutchinson and Paddy Meehan also represented Ireland while playing for Drumcondra. After the Second World War, Tim Coffey, Dessie Glynn, Benny Henderson, Alan Kelly and Fran Brennan were added to this list. [16] [17]

League of Ireland XI representative
Ireland (IFA) internationals
Scotland internationals
Goalscorers

On three occasions Drumcondra players finished as the League of Ireland Top Scorer.

Notable former managers

Honours

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