FINN HARPS FOOTBALL CLUB have been donated a souvenir programme from their first game in the League of Ireland.
On August 17, 1969, Harps hosted Shamrock Rovers at Finn Park in a game won by the Dublin club 10-2.
It was a day that left the League of Ireland chiefs wondering if they’d donehe right thing in accepting Harps into the League, but Patsy McGowan’s team quickly established themselves as one of the leading sides in the country, going on to win the FAI Senior Cup in only their fifth season as a senior club.
Brian Wright headed in Harps’ first goal that afternoon and Paddy McGrory netted the other, but it was a day to both forget and remember, depending on your viewpoint.
For those who were in attendance at Finn Park, the match programmes for the game became a collectors’ item and some have appeared on eBay at extortionate prices in recent years.
However, Paul Byrne from Liscooley has donated a programme from the game for Harps to display in the Finn Park clubhouse.
Picture caption: Paul Byrne presents Kevin McHugh with the programme. Picture courtesy of Stephen Doherty.
Byrne, a Director of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Letterkenny, presented the programme to Finn Harps captain Kevin McHugh on Monday night at the Donegal Sport Hub ‘live’ podcast at the Radisson.
Byrne’s father, Pete, is a former Finn Harps Director whose business, Finn Valley Oil, was once the club’s main sponsor.
“My father has all the scores from the first season written into the programme – apart from that Shamrock Rovers game!” Paul Byrne said.
“Harps will hold the programme in trust and it will be on display in the clubhouse at Finn Park. I think there is real scope for Harps to do things like this and have some old memorabilia on show.”Tags: