Bilboa Soccer Club was founded in 1996. Officers elected: Chairman; Pat Hynan, Secretary; John Berkery, Treasurer; John O’Donnell. The committee included a number of ladies including Breda O’Gorman (nee Ryan Luke), Maura Ryan, Patricia O’Donnell and Mary Ryan (Luke). Our team was sponsored by Mike Hynan Coaches.
The soccer club entered the Tipperary Southern & District League (TSDL) and as a new entrant had to play in the 5th division. The first year in a League the club had a good success, finishing fourth in the table. The second year the Club got promoted to the 4th Division and in the third year, the Club won the league and was therefore promoted to the 3rd Division. In the year that followed the Club again achieved success by winning the 3rd Division. Following that they were promoted again to the 2nd Division.
The players playing in the team at that time included; Paul Kirby, Mike Fogarty, John Ryan (Luke), John Berkery, William Keogh, Liam Ryan (Luke) R.I.P., Damien O’Toole, Liam Doyle, Mike Cunningham, Mike Ryan (Luke), John O’Donnell, Tyrone Power, Jason Power, Ciaran Hickey, Paddy Duffy, Eoghan Bourke, Andy Murphy R.I.P., Owen O’Malley, Michael Leahy, Donal Leahy, Neil Leahy, Paul Leahy, and Brian Leahy, Managers: Pat Hynan and John Power. That was the first team that started playing and additional players joined as the years went on. During the Club’s second year, the team encountered a great loss with the death of Liam Ryan (Luke) R.I.P., a great player who lost his life in a tragic farm accident.
We had great success in local tournaments winning numerous cups and trophies. In the years that we got promoted, we had some excellent players such as Paddy Ryan (Luke). Paddy was nominated for Player of the Year on two successive years, this was a referee’s nomination. The Club decided to leave the Tipperary Southern & District League and join the Limerick League. In a few years young players were immigrating in search of work to a point where the Club could no longer field teams. All the men involved have some long-lasting memories of Bilboa soccer club.
Written by Breda Ryan (Luke) & Pat Hynan (June 2016)