The following article is taken from the Murroe AFC Club Fanzine to mark the winning of the Keane Cup in 1997 and was published in June of that year. The author is former Chairperson Richard Bourke
A Brief History - Murroe AFC
Twenty years is a long time waiting for anything; especially for a club to wait for its first trophy. When it finally does arrive it is only fair to look back, however briefly, on the history of the Club and also to recall at least some of the personalities and events during that long wait.
Though the club first joined the Limerick District League in the old 5th Division in 1976-77, the history of the club goes back some seven years before that. At that time, around 1970, a group came together to take part in a seven-a-side tournament in Rearcross. These included Patsy O'Brien, Eddie Quinlan, Ger Canning and Edsie O'Brien. Soon after it was decided to put the club on a proper footing so a clandestine meeting was called in the old dressing rooms of Harty Park, the infamous ban was still in place at that time. The officers elected were Patsy O'Brien (Chairman), Eddie Quinlan (Secretary) and Ger Canning (Treasurer).
The Club continued to play in local tournaments most notably in Rearcross and Doon. This coincided with an increasing interest in soccer generally so there was no shortage of teams from Doon, Pallas, Cappamore, Rearcross, Cappawhite, Bilboa and even Annacarthy.The meant that all the matches were extremely competitive and keenly fought. The Club had mixed fortunes however reaching several finals but failing to actually win any. On one famous occasion, in the final of the Doon tournament, the match was played with twelve men for the second half when the substitute was brought on but no one brought off. The match incidentally was one-all draw but the replay was lost one nil.
Around this time these tournaments were amalgamated to form a Western League which was played on a home and away basis. Though there had been a split in the Murroe camp at this stage due to the influx of players from the newly opened Ferenka plant, the then team recorded their first league title though they lost the cup to Rearcross. The League continued for a couple of years until a meeting in Power's Lounge a decision was taken to join the Limerick Dictrict League. This was in 1976-77 and the team was entered in the old 5th Division. The first match was played against Annacotty. Amongst the squad for the first match were Joe Kirby, Oliver Coffey, Tom Ryan, Tom Ryan, Patsy Davis, John Davis, Dick Bourke, JJ Keane, Tim McInerney, Martin Davis, Martin Holmes, Declan Ryan, Willie Quigley.
The Club continued to play in the 5th Division and then the revised Div 4B, having many near misses, but could not make the breakthrough until the season 93-94 when they won promotion for the first time That promotion squad included Paddy Ryan, Paul Power, Padraig Power, Larry O'Connor, Declan McGuire, Matthew Kett, Liam Fogarty, Dick Bourke, Kevin O'Sullivan, Joe Ryan, Noel Harty, Denis Grant, Willie Power, Noel Ryan.
In many ways that success laid the foundation for the recent Cup victory. In the season afterwards, the club narrowly missed promotion and took part in three Cup semi-finals. The credit for this must go to a very committed squad ably manage by Declan McGuire. The season gone by has also seen the emergence of the B team. This is indicative of the interest in Soccer and also of the Club's wish to make competitive football available to the maximum number of people. We hope that the recent success will act as a springboard for even more success in the future.
Due to the constraints of space this had to be a very brief look back on the Murroe history in football but at least gives a flavour to what took place to bring the Club to its present position.
Yours in Sport