Congrats to Shamrock Rovers for reaching the group stages of the Europa Cup, where they will compete against teams as elevated - and well remunerated - as Spurs. As far as I am aware, they are the first team from the League of Ireland (and possibly the Irish League too) that have managed to do so.
My old man and his old man, mind you, were Shelbourne through and through. The old man took me to the Shels games in Tolka Park and Harold's Cross as a kid. I, of course, preferred the glamour of Match of the Day and Leeds United, one of whose midfield generals was a certain Johnny Giles.
Turncoat that I was, and much to the old man's disappointment, I spent quite a few Sunday afternoons on the Glenmalure terraces with the kid bro after Giles wound down to become manager of Rovers back in the late 70s.
For a long time Rovers were homeless after their owners sold off their ground in Milltown to build apartments. Eventually, and after much bitter opposition from a local GAA club, they succeeded in getting their own ground in Tallaght.
So, I hope they make a mint in the Europa Cup, and strike a blow for world football in Ireland... or the "garrison game" and the "corner boys game" as the backwoodsmen of the Christian Brothers, the GAA, and their ilk labeled it.
And what an equalising goal at 1:43.
Johnny Giles himself would have been proud.
Partizan Belgrade v Shamrock Rovers video uploaded by TaLaHoOp . Big thanks.
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