77 team honoured
The members of the 1977 squad received a great welcome from Rovers supporters when they were guests of honour at the Pat’s game on Friday last. 40 years on from their magnificent league title success.
At a pre match reception in their honour, Billy Sinclair reflected on this special era in the club’s history, and recalled with great affection the people he had soldiered with who had since passed away, including James Tiernan, Dermot McCullagh, Gerry Mitchell and Johnny Chadda.
He said it was a very special occasion to have these great servants of the club represented at the reception by members of their families.
Club Chairman Martin Heraghty spoke of his own memories of that special day in April 1977 when goals from Gary Hulmes, Chris Rutherford and Paul McGee against Shamrock Rovers earned Rovers their first league title since 1937.
The Chairman also paid tribute to the Sligo Rovers Heritage Group on the publication of the Club’s official history, and thanked Billy Sinclair for once again travelling to help the Group – Billy had also officiated at the launch of their first exhibition at Sligo Museum in 2012.
Chairman of the Heritage Group Aidan Mannion said it was an honour to welcome the heroes of 1977 to the reception, and said one of the objectives of the group was to ensure the achievements of the past were revived for the current generation of supporters. He also confirmed that there was a phenomenal reaction to the newly published history with sales and enquiries from all over the world, and said the book was acknowledged to be the most comprehensive history published by any Irish or British Club.
Tommie Gorman, who compered the reception, recalled his memories of his trip to Belgrade as a young journalist with the team, the highlight being Tony Fagan’s piece if exquisite skill which was applauded by the appreciative Red Star fans. Tommie said each of the guests were true Rovers legends and said they would always have a welcome at the club they had served with such distinction. Aidan Mannion then presented Billy and each of the players with a copy of the Club History.
See a full gallery from the night thanks to Michael Melly below:
Listen to speeches below, Billy Sinclair:
Aidan Mannion (Chairman of Sligo Rovers Heritage Group):