The Knockane United story started around 1975 when all the children of the area would meet up on summer’s evenings in Mick Quigley’s haggart or on Sunday’s down in Davy O’Brien’s field always known as the hurling field. Girls and Boys played week in week out until we grew up and we decided to start our own Soccer team. We were invited in to the Rearcross seven a-side Tournament. At the time, we had no set of jerseys, so it was decided to that we would buy seven tee-shirts in Dunnes which we did. A dark brown shirt was purchased, and we were on our way.
Our first match was a seven a-side game against Rea in 1981. Frankie O’Toole was the star of the match with Rea winning 2-1, the team on that occasion was Ger O’Brien, DJ O’Brien, Denis Lenihan, Brendan O’Brien, John O’Brien (Scrageen), Eddie Quigley and Willie Lenihan. We played for around three years in Rearcross at the back of the Rising Sun (now the graveyard), notable games were against tough opponents Crough Rovers including Mossy Ryan Luke, Mick Hickey and Mikey Lonergan, the referee was Mike Healy Ballinahinch. We also played Newport in a semi-final in Quigley’s field opposite Kennedy’s Bar on 8th June 1985 which we lost; this was our last game as a team.
We also played in a league in Doon that year and we had our first and only set of jerseys sponsored by Martin Carey of Martin Carey Hardware, The Square Newport. The following players played with Knockane from 1981 to 1985: Ger O’Brien, DJ O’Brien, Brendan O’Brien, Pat Quigley, Eddie Quigley, Denis Lenihan, Johnny Lenihan, Willie Lenihan, Martin Moloney (RIP), Paddy Jones, Timmy Jones, Larry McGrath, Connie McGrath, Martin Ryan Lacken, Sean Ryan (Ballinahinch), Denis O’Sullivan, Mike O’Sullivan, John O’Brien (Scrageen), Peter Coleman, Fr. Donal O’Gorman. If anybody is left out, sincere apologies.
Written by Brendan O’Brien (July 2016)