Southend F.C ,A Story of a Club’s Survival in Southill ,Limerick.

Southend Football Club recently held their Fifth  Annual Boys and Girls evening on July 17 ,An evening comprising of soccer matches  and Penalty taking. Over 200 attended the football evening and as many parents , it seemed like more and it was great see the enjoyment and the pleasure experienced by all who attended including myself.This is their story.

Video:

Southend AFC

History:

 Southend Football Club was formed in 1969 and was the first football club to play out of Southill, Limerick City .Some of the founding members included Seamas Houlihan, Paddy McQuirk (R.I.P), Bernie Boland (R.I.P), Cecil Healey, Paddy Paul Byrne (R.I.P), Nobby Grant (R.I.P) and the legendary goalkeeper Billy Power. Power’s input and experience was invaluable as he had plied his trade with almost every club in Limerick. These were special times in a tightly knit community and players to the fore at that time included Liam Fitzpatrick, Cecil and Pa Healey,Jerry Kirwin (R.I.P) Later a Southend Manager, Liam Constable and of course the much traveled Power. They plugged away but success was hard to come by .This eventually  arrived in 1979 /80 Season when Southend won the Second Division Title on a Good Friday Night.

 

Committee Members included Paddy Byrne,Nobby Grant,Ber Boland,Ed Hannon.Players to the fore included prolific goal scorer Richie Boland, Robert Hennessy,Mike O Neill,Ger Coel,Frank Kavanagh and the Smith brothers Mike and Ger.Southend decided to put a second string together in 1982 and what a success they proved to be .

 

 

In their first year they won the Fourth Division Double and the following year they became  the first team in Limerick Junior level in modern times to win a League Division Three unbeaten ,winning every game.

Committee and Management, Mike O Neill, Philip O Connor, Junior Gavin, Sean O Neill, Harry Barry. Players Jim “Buller” Welsh, Ger Boland, Cyril Boland, Brendan McNamara, and the boot of Tan Moynihan were to the fore.

 That historic team lined out as follows Ger Boland,Donal Barry,” Blue Carroll”, Tan Moynihan, Eddie Cooke, Cyril Boland,Ed Smith, Brendan McNamara, Noel Bermingham,Trevor Hoare (Capt.),Myles Kavanagh,Paul Coffee, Jim Welsh,John Welsh.

 

Southend just managed to survive away with one team in Division Two for the remainder of the eighties until a new committee was formed in the 1988/89 season. This consisted of former players Mike Moynihan, Jim Welsh, Laurence Hogan, John Grant, and Mike Coughlan along with Mike Corbett and Team Manager Ben Grant. Unfounded success was soon to follow.

 

Munster Junior Cup Final 1991:

In the Limerick Treaty 300 year of 1991 .Southend became the first Third Division side to contest a Munster Junior Cup Final. Over 3000 people attended the final played at Jackman Park on the Twenty Fifth of May 1991 in which they lost to St.Michaels of Tipperary Town. Southend were euphoric in that they knocked out some top class teams along the way.

 First Round   

 Fairview 1-1 (Scorer Tony Hickey)

Southend won on penalties.

 

 Second Round

  Vereker Clements (Prem) Scorer Timmy Reen

 1-1 Southend won on penalties

Third Round

Shelbourne A   2-2 Scorers P.J Garvey and Don McCarthy

Southend won on penalties

 

The next fixture was away from Limerick

Sixth Round

Courtmacsherry (Cork) won 6-1 Scorers P.J Garvey 4, Don McCarthy 1

,Tan Bermingham 1

 

Quarter Final

v former League of Ireland Side Nenagh (Tipperary)

 Won 2- 1 away A.Hickey 2

 

Semi Final

Don Bosco (Cork) 2-2 away T.Hickey and T, Reen.

 

Replay won by 2-1 A. Flanagan 2

 

Final

V St.Michaels (Tipperary) in Jackman Park.

Lost 4-1 N.Bermingham

 

These were the days never to be forgotten:

Team: David Fitzgerald, Dermot Kearns, Tom Grant, Andy Garvey, John Grant, Don McCarthy, Tim Reen, Dennis Ryan (Capt), Tony Hickey, PJ Garvey, Alan Flanagan, Noel Bermingham, Anthony Ryan.

 

In 1993 Southend won their first cup in ten years in beating Distillery 3-1 at Pike Rovers in the Lipper Cup .Scorers Mike Hayes, Richie Brommell and Tony Hickey.

Team : D.Fitzgerald,L.Rael,T.Grant,J.Grant,T”Sparrow” Ryan(Capt)A.Flanagan,G.Slattery,M.Sheehan,A.Hickey,R.Brommell,M.Hayes,M.Sheedy,A.Kelly,J.Cusack,G.Prendergast.

 

In the off season the John “Nobby” Grant Memorial Tournament was held .This prestigious event was played for ten years and proved to be a huge success. Victory again in the Lipper Cup in 1995/96 defeating Distillery by 2-1 at Jackman Park on the Twentieth of April 1996.Promotion to Division 1B followed.

Team:D.Fitzgerald,B.Begley,P.Buckely,R.Brennan,D.Barry,N.Higgins,(Capt),J.O’Neill,E.Joyce,S.Quinn,M.Grant,W.Lennon,A.Hickey,C.Hayes,T.Grant,A.Kelly.

Scorers: E.Joyce and D.Barry.

 

In the Following year 1996/97 Southend won the Div1B Title after a play off with Pike Rovers .That year the team stats showed

Played 22, Won 14, Drew 8 another League won unbeaten.Southend scored 100 goals in all competitions.

 

Southend again plugged away until they won the the Division Three under John Somers .Players to the fore were James Ring,J.Lyons,Stephen Grant, Greg Grant,B.Begley and J.Moran.Most of these players are currently playing with the cub.

 

Southend FC Motto:

We are a very family orientated club with everyone felt welcome to the famous “Rosebowl” of Southill.So don’t be shy, get up and see us we are sure you will enjoy .We love our parish and the friends and people that have supported us down through the years both living and dead will always be in our prayers and never forgotten.

 

Stats and Facts:

Southend F.C Formed 1969.

Club Colours: Claret and Blue.

Pitch: Southill P.K, Southill.

 

Committee: 2007/2008

Chairman: Noel O Donoghue.

Secretary: Michael Minihan.

Treasurer: Jim Welsh.

Committee: Ben Grant, Joe Flynn, Lar Hogan.

 

The Committee has been unchanged since 1989 almost 20 years. With O’Donoghue, Minihan and Welsh giving club service both as players and Committee for almost 30 years. Southend ran their fifth schoolboy /girl soccer evening on July 17. This has proven to be a huge success with up to 200 children taking part .There is a game of football after which each child receives a trophy and medal which is followed of course by the refreshments.

 

.It’s for a good cause and is greatly appreciated Southend do not have their own  pitch or have a lease of their own, which is why they do not qualify for any grants. So they have to rely on raffles and sponsorship to survive. We thank all of those who have helped us out especially Ted McCarthy & Co Solicitors (gear), Jan O Sullivan T.D, Ger Fahey (Mayor) The Heffernan Brothers Mark and Noel and our main sponsor who works out of our parish David Lynch of Sherling Steel http://www.sherlingwest.com/

 

Southend Abu

Mike Minihan.

 

Footnote :

Southend FC currently are  in a situation where they may have to vacate their soccer gound “The Rosebowl” as it is part of the Limerick Regeneration Project .See http://www.limerickregeneration.ie/

They are hoping that they would be relocated to a new ground within the community.We hope for their sake and  for all what we have seen in Video above that this would happen sooner than later.Amenities are a very important social support in communities.

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