2012: A Sligo Rovers Documentary

Sligo is home”: Gavin Peers’ love for the club still shines through as he speaks.

It is 10 years since our league winning season of 2012. In the history of Sligo Rovers, our loyal supporters have never witnessed a period of success quite like it. As Gavin spoke to us about the rain soaked lows of our 2009 defeat to Sporting Fingal in our first F.A.I Cup final in 15 years, to Mark Quigley hitting the net in glorious October sunshine in 2012 to clinch our first league win in 35 years, this was an extra special time to follow Sligo Rovers.

            I have been following Rovers for as long as I can remember. It was in Summerhill College that the passion for the club really flourished. The floodlights had arrived in the town and the team was flying under Willie McStay. Since 2004, I have been filming sport, documentaries and news for a range of broadcasters. I have filmed projects across Europe, Africa and beyond but I have always wanted to make a documentary about my home town club. Michael Moran was a word smith with “The Sligo Champion” for many years. He covered the Showgrounds activities as both reporter and sports editor. These days he is deeply involved in the clubs’ heritage committee.  As talk over a few pints turned to the topic of Rovers, we decided to work on a documentary about the Club.  

            Our first documentary on the Club was called ‘Shine’. This film covered some of the clubs’ major achievements from winning the league in 1977, to the cup wins in 1983 and 1994. We were delighted with the reaction from the Rovers fans to our project. As the dust settled on ‘Shine’ we decided to go again!  After much debate, we decided to focus our attention on the league winning day of October 13th 2012. In our eyes this was the real high for the club.  League titles have not been a frequent visitor to the North West. 

            Our filming began with Alan Keane in the Sligo Fire Station. This made a great backdrop for the interview with plenty of  Red on screen!  Alan was one of my own favourite players to watch on the pitch; always moving, always getting involved in the play. Alan got involved, enabling us to contact various players, moving the documentary along nicely for us. ‘Building from the back’ if you will.

Joseph Ndo was an artist on the pitch so we were delighted when the Model facilitated our interview with him in their gallery. Joe, who has played in two world cups, spoke to us for over an hour.  It was truly a fascinating experience to listen him speak about life and football.

            In a way October 13th  2012 will be remembered for two players. Mark Quigley and Raffael Creataro. One from Dublin and one local; both exceptionally talented forwards.

As Mark told us his story of growing up in Dublin city centre and Raff showed us around Tubbercurry, the common thread was a dedication to their craft, spending hours each day sharpening their skills. Both fulfilled the childhood dreams of many on the same day, helping Rovers lift the league title.

            As the production continued a number of fans came forward to share their stories of the day.  From family memories, running down the Jinxs stand celebrating, to cancer journeys – it is these stories that keep Rovers fans going year after year.

            Once again Sligo provided the soundtrack to the documentary with all the artists being Rovers fans. In fact all the musicians were part of my 1998 class of Summerhill and I have great memories of standing in the “Shed” with them.

The soundtrack ranges from the piano of Jongmyo Shine by Pearse McGloughlin to the hip hop of This Side Up with Near Vandals and The Hooks providing the guitars. 

The openness of the musicians to allow us to use their work for the club has to be commended. As a community we are lucky to have both on pitch and on stage talent of this level!

            Michael & I hope that you enjoy the documentary ‘2012’ and that it brings back some amazing memories for you all. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the production for their help, without which this documentary would not have been possible.

We had hoped to sit down with other members of the playing squad or management squad including Manager Ian Baraclough, but unfortunately, due to COVID protocols we were not able to do so.

Hon the Bit O’ Red

Oisin Moran

Documentary maker