Bit O’ Red Wall: Tommie Gorman to be honoured by club

Phase two of the Bit O’ Red Wall will close on Wednesday, with 190 tiles sold in this section and they are set to be in place for the start of the new season on Saturday week against Dundalk.

315 tiles were erected in phase one, so over 500 tiles will now feature on The Showgrounds Wall, honouring players, friends, family and hundreds of people connected to Sligo Rovers.

Click here to buy and be part of this unique part of The Showgrounds through the Bit O’ Red Wall. The deadline is Wednesday

Over two seasons the Wall has generated €35,000 for Sligo Rovers. Phase two has been over €12,000 alone.

The 500th tile has been purchased to honour a person who has been instrumental in the success of this new and now treasured part of The Showgrounds. 

Tommie Gorman has penned many of the articles you have read on our website about the Wall, telling the stories of some of those honoured and what the tributes mean, as well as successfully ensure those connected to Rovers know about the wall and signed up.

Ahead of his retirement next month after 41 years with RTÉ, the tile is to acknowledge his contribution to Sligo, Rovers and Irish journalism.

Rovers, happily, had a part in the start of his career. While Tommie will be best-known as North-West Correspondent, European Editor, Northern Editor and a blue chip part of RTÉ News, we must acknowledge the Rovers connection.

Tommie, who grew up on Cairns Road, secured his first byline in The Sligo Champion in the form of match reports of Sligo Rovers away games in Dublin in the 1970s while studying in the capital.

In the summer 1977 he sold two pages of advertising to Sligo businesses that financed a trip to Yugoslavia to watch Rovers take on Red Star Belgrade and tell the story. 

He reported in the aftermath of the 1983 FAI Cup final, documenting scenes of jubilation from Sligo, which remain a valued archive of our history.

27 years later he stood on the streets of Sligo as the Cup came home from a third time, this time reporting live to a national television audience.

He also made two DVDs on behalf of the club during our golden period which are must-haves for Bit O’ Red fans.

In 2012 he was convinced by then-chairman Dermot Kelly to join the club’s management committee as the league title came back to the north-west for the first time in 35 years.

That season the club secured funding that led to the development of the Sean Fallon Centre.

He has hosted many events for the club.

Most importantly, as is the case with Rovers, he has been instrumental in countless fundraising campaigns, and none more so than this Wall.

It is easy for the club to list Tommie’s achievements, but his greatest contribution to us is a lifetime of support.

Work commitments had to be balanced when it came to a bi-monthly visit to The Showgrounds.

In retirement, and when our home is open to the public again, we hope a regular seat in the Treacy Avenue stand will be a reward for over four decades of remarkable work.

To quote Tommie’s articulate summation of the end of our 2020 season on the RTÉ News website; The Bit O Red bond is something that cannot be denied.

The bond will only strengthen.

The club’s management committee have purchased the tile for Tommie.

It will read:

Tommie Gorman

RTÉ 1980-2021

Rovers Forever

Click here to buy and be part of this unique part of The Showgrounds through the Bit O’ Red Wall. Sales close on Wednesday.