Families and Friends Stories from the Showgrounds Wall

More Families and Friends Stories from the Showgrounds Wall

Over 140 spaces are now reserved in the next section of The Showgrounds Wall. Each tile costs €100. Below are some of the stories about the fans and families who will feature in the new phase of the project. Details about to order a tile are below or here click here to purchase a tile

Loman Gallagher, who died after a short illness in January 2020, epitomised the volunteerism that is required to maintain a community club like Sligo Rovers.

Like his father, Loman senior before him, Loman worked at the Showgrounds turnstile on match days. Even though he loved watching the Rovers play and followed the club throughout his life, he parked his instincts as a fan to help with the vital work of gathering the finances to keep the club alive.

Loman is survived by his wife, Geraldine, his daughter Claire, son Paul and his wider family. One of his friends since childhood, Liam Mc Gonagle, formerly of Pearse Road, now lives in Mullingar. Liam, his wife, Louise and son Stephen, have decided to dedicate a tile in Loman’s memory on the next phase of The Showgrounds Wall.

Each time Loman became involved in a Sligo Rovers fundraising scheme, Liam Mc Gonagle was on his ‘customers to call’ list. After leaving Summerhill College Liam’s banking career brought him to several locations but he has always retained his links with the Showgrounds.

Another Co. Westmeath-based supporter has also booked a Tile in the Wall. Seamus McGowan rarely misses a home game and he is also a regular fixture at away matches.

Brian Tivnan works with a leading New-York based electrical services company, Riverdale. His Sligo-based brother, Noel, was a handy striker in his day and is a tidy golfer. They were reared in Old Market Street and their last shared adventure following The Rovers was the epic 1983 Cup campaign, culminating in the 2-1 victory over Bohemians in the rain and the mud at Dalymount Park where Tony Stenson and Harry Mc Loughlin scored the goals.

Brian and Noel travelled to all those Cup games, including the tie against Cobh Ramblers at Flower Lodge when Mick Graham rose like an eagle and headed the equaliser to bring the contest back to The Showgrounds.

The following year, 1984, Brian headed to London. Three years later he moved to New York and he has been based there ever since. There was a time when the Sligo Champion, on sale a week after publication, was his most reliable way of keeping in touch with home.

Technology has changed that and using the Rovers website facility Brian has ordered a Tile on the Showgrounds wall to celebrate the family connection with the club in their hometown. It will read

Brian Tivnan

Noel Tivnan

Sligo& New York

A father and son relationship that will feature on the wall is Keith Gray and his father, Leo. From his earliest days, Keith was immersed in Sligo Rovers by his grandfather, Leo senior. Keith’s father, Leo and uncle, Jim were reporters who tracked the fortunes of the club, through good and no so good times, for local and national newspapers and RTÉ Radio.

Prior to his retirement, Leo was the Sports Editor with the Sligo Champion – new sponsors of Sligo Rovers. Their tile will read:

Leo Gray

Keith Gray

Up The Rovers

Tony Fagan, a guaranteed selection in any All Time Greats Sligo Rovers 11 , is celebrated in the first section of The Showgrounds Wall. Two of his grandchildren will feature in the second phase. Paul McGarry has booked the tile with the dedication

Ethan & Rhys

Grandsons of

The Legend Fago

John Kerrigan, from Carney Co Sligo, a loyal supporter throughout his life, passed away at the turn of the year. Prior to John’s passing, David Kerrigan had ordered a tile to record John’s links with the club. It will read

John Kerrigan

Carney, Sligo

Rovers & Spurs

In recent years, thanks to the way communications systems facilitate a global village, Australia-based supporters keep up their bonds with the club.  Paul Gannon works and lives in Perth.  His deceased grandparents,  Jim Gannon and Eileen Curran, were once deeply involved in Sligo life.  Paul would like his own children to see tangible evidence of that linkage through the generations when they visit their ancestral homeland.  From ‘Down Under’ Paul Gannon has reserved a tile in the Showgrounds Wall that will have the inscription

Paul, Brody &

Melia Gannon

Australia

Finally few can match the record of Dermot Cawley, who will also have his place in the next phase of the Showgrounds Wall. His inscription will state

Dermot Cawley

Cedar Drive

90 Years A Red

Click here to purchase a tile

Each tile, costing €100, has space for 3 lines with 16 characters, including spacing, in each line.

If you wish to book a space in the new section, please click here.

For more information, or to purchase a tile over the phone, you can contact Shane on 087-7526445.

Rovers announce strategic partnership with Everton

Sligo Rovers can today announce a new strategic partnership with English Premier League side Everton Football Club.

The new agreement will see Sligo Rovers and Everton partner on several initiatives and cross-promotional activities including fan engagement, marketing and content collaborations.

Sligo Rovers and Everton academy coaches will also develop relationships and there will also be the opportunity for pre-season training bases for academy teams at both clubs.

The clubs will exchange knowledge across both coaching and business operations.

The hugely successful Sligo Rovers Camps for children will be expanded for the development of joint camps which include improved services, access and more coaching and enjoyment for participants.

The Bit O’ Red view this partnership as an ideal chance to expand our football club, acquire new skills and knowledge, open up new opportunities for coaches and players, grow our fanbase and all the while maintaining our model and remit as a community-driven and supporter-owned club.

Throughout the storied history of Rovers and the Blues, there has been a wealth of links between both players and fans.

Most notably, Seamus Coleman made the move from Sligo Rovers as a 20-year-old to join the Toffees in 2009. Coleman has gone on to make nearly 300 appearances for the Blues and become captain for the club and country.

Seamus Coleman during his early days with Sligo Rovers

In 1939 Everton giant Dixie Dean signed for Sligo Rovers, scoring 10 goals in seven games and helped Rovers to the final of the FAI Cup.

His time at Sligo Rovers is celebrated to this day and remains one of the most unique and special chapters in the history of Rovers. 

The clubs have played each other in several friendlies across different age groups and, more recently, Everton fans heavily supported the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust campaign which raised more than €85,000 to allow us fund the remainder of the 2020 season which ultimately ended in European qualification.

Everton Football Club, one of the most well-known names in English football, currently sit four points from the top of the Premier League.  

The Goodison Park club have a decorated and storied presence in Merseyside for over 140 years, maintaining Irish links throughout that period and have an exciting future ahead under manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Dixie Dean is celebrated in the outdoor museum constructed by Sligo Rovers in The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins said: “This is a very positive day for Sligo Rovers. We have a shared history with Everton Football Club over many decades and I believe we also have the same principles and ambition to grow. They are a perfect fit for a collaboration such as this.

“Partnering with Everton will allow us to improve in many key areas, such as commercial activity, fan services and also the development of our academy coaches which is of utmost importance.

“We have very talented staff and a group of coaches at the club who will learn and develop from the basis of this link-up.

“We hope it is the beginning of a very fruitful partnership and perhaps, in time, more names will be added to those that have proudly represented Sligo Rovers and Everton.

“Our initial focus is beginning this partnership and seeing the benefits for all parties.

“We’re delighted to welcome Everton as our new strategic partner. We have two passionate sets of supporters who will now be cheering each other on.”

Everton played in The Showgrounds in 2010 as Seamus Coleman returned home

Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing, Communications and Community at Everton Football Club said: “Sligo Rovers is a historic football club with a passionate fanbase, strong community support and ambitious ownership.

“Like a lot of clubs, Sligo Rovers are working hard to build back after the impact of coronavirus and we are very pleased to be part of a strategic agreement that marks a new chapter in their future and an exciting opportunity for Everton – building on the close relationship that has endured for more than 80 years.

“This exciting partnership is another step in our own international growth plans and offers clear benefits to both clubs. From joint fan engagement opportunities, events and business knowledge exchange to soccer camps, academy training bases and access to Sligo Rovers’ scouting network – it is an exciting collaboration. We look forward to exploring new and innovative new ways of working together.”

Seamus Coleman, currently of Everton and formerly of Sligo Rovers, said: “I’m delighted with this partnership between two clubs close to my heart in Sligo Rovers and Everton.

“I’ll be forever grateful to Sligo for giving me my start in professional football and for helping to pave the way for my move to Everton, the Club I am proud to captain and represent each and every day. 

“This partnership will benefit both clubs and, in particular, can provide support to Sligo from the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Over 100 tiles sold for second stage of Bit O’ Red Wall

Phase Two of our Bit O’ Red Wall is now well under way.

Over 100 tiles have been sold. Work on the second stage will begin before the start of the season. 315 tiles were sold in the first phase.

A tile consists of three lines of 16 characters.

It is one of the outstanding features of the ground where you can etch your name in Showgrounds history or remember a friend or family with a connection to the club.

Profits from each tile go to the club and you can have your very own space or you can buy a tile for someone.

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

More stock added on SRFC Direct

After a busy December we have re-stocked our popular items on our online store.

In what was our most popular range ever, many items sold out quickly and we are happy to say these are now for sale again.

2021 home jerseys also back soon. Go to SRFCDirect.Com to purchase.

Our Joma Berna Sports jackets are among the items.

A warm jacket with a stylish design are perfect for this time of the year.

Shop here.

RIP John Kerrigan

John (Seanie) Kerrigan who died at Sligo University Hospital on Monday January 4th was a committed Sligo Rovers throughout his life.  A native of Carney Co Sligo, he is mourned  by his sister, Ida, brothers Jim and Brian, family members and wide circle of friends.

Paddy Houze, a Sligo Rovers committee member, paid tribute to John’s loyalty to the club.  “From his days in Summerhill College in the 1970’s John became a regular at The Showgrounds.  He had a great positive attitude and everyone enjoyed his company.  He helped with fundraising activities and he sold Lotto tickets for many years. He loved going to games ,home and away, and many players became his friend.  He was part of a very significant group of supporters from North Sligo. ”

The late John Kerrigan

John had great affection for Spurs but nothing got in the way of his regard for Sligo Rovers.  

Due to the Covid emergency at this time, we can’t gather to remember John in the appropriate way.

But the club will honour his memory and show our appreciation when circumstances change. RIP John, our thoughts are with your family and friends.

RIP Mary Kate Beirne

Sligo Rovers FC wishes to extend its sincere sympathies to the family of Mary Kate Beirne, Boyle, mother of club staff member Frank Beirne.

Frank has worked for the club for a number of years and is an integral part of the club’s administration staff.

Frank’s brother Ray is also a life long Bit O’ Red supporter.

Ar Dheis De Go Raibh a Anam

Bit O’ Red Wall: The Gallagher Rovers connection

It is more than 50 years since Sligo Rovers were involved in an epic FAI Cup run, ending with a 2-1 defeat against Bohemians, at their Dublin home ground, Dalymount Park, in a second replay. 

It was one of the most memorable adventures in Rovers’ colourful history.  Player manager, Ken Turner had assembled a talented squad that included centre half, David Pugh in his prime; striker Johnny Brooks; skilful midfieder Johnny Cooke; Galway-born goalkeeper Tom Lally; Glasgow Celtic teenager, Pat Mc Closkey, provided on loan to by Sean Fallon to his home town club, and locals, Gerry Mitchell and Tony Fagan.

Rovers had beaten Cork Hibs in a replay and the three-game 1970 Cup FInal final saga tested the financial resources of many fans. 

Some of the packed  ‘football specials’ trains struggled to get back to Sligo station on schedule and one wag christened them ‘the love trains.’ 

Even though Bohemians had most of the good fortune in the decisive match, Rovers’ football style and courage and the loyalty of its fans added to the club’s reputation.

Another local player also featured in the squad – winger, Dessie Gallagher.  

A native of Saint Brigid’s Place, Dessie was a winger with great pace and very solid on the ball.  

He was naturally fit because in his day job Dessie was a skilled painter employed by Meldrums of Castle Street and he used his bicycle to cycle to and from work.

On Sundays Dessie could be seen beetling down the wing in the Showgrounds.  

Dessie Gallagher with the great Tony Stenson

But for the rest of the week you might spot him cycling along Temple Street, wearing his white overalls with a ladder attached to his bicycle.

Dessie’s older brother, Johnny Gallagher, made his debut for Sligo Rovers in 1960 and was one of the youngest players in the history of the club.  

Unfortunately injury cut Johnny’s career but he remained a loyal supporter for the rest of his life.  

The late Johnny Gallagher

He worked as a breadman with local bakeries, McCarters and Tighes.

Dessie Gallagher died far too young in the 1980’s.  Johnny passed away in 2001.  But the Gallagher family’s link with Sligo and the Showgrounds is to be celebrated in the next phase of the Bit O’Red Wall.

Johnny’s son, Paul Gallagher, follows Sligo Rovers from his base in Singapore. 

Paul has been a generous supporter for the range of fundraising events that has kept the club afloat in recent years and he is keen to celebrate the family links on the Wall.

Paul, Kieron and Dominic Gallagher (son of Dessie, based in Manchester)

Paul is the managing director in the Asia Pacific region for Renishaw, a UK FTSE listed company and has lived in the region for 25 years.  

He and his wife, Patricia, have two sons . 21-year-old Kieron is studying at the University of Manchester and 18-year-old Jared is currently doing his military service in Signapore, after which he hopes to play in Singapore’s professional S league.      

A young Jared Gallagher on a visit to The Showgrounds in 2013 receiving a ball from Danny North. Jared trained with the Rovers Under-17’s on his last visit home and has played for Kitchee SC in Hong Kong 

The tile commemorating the Gallagher brothers will read

Johnny & Dessie

Gallagher

Wore The Red

The Singapore Gallaghers

The first phase of the Showgrounds Wall, featuring 315 tiles, was unveiled last year.  

It is planned to have a second section in place for the opening of the new season.  

The work is carried out by the renowned Boyle-based Stonemasons, Feelystone.

Click here to purchase a tile

Each tile, costing €100, has space for 3 lines with 16 characters, including spacing, in each line.

If you wish to book a space in the new section, please click here.

For more information, or to purchase a tile over the phone, you can contact Shane on 087-7526445.

Sligo Champion agree two-year sponsorship deal with Rovers

As we continue our preparation for the 2021 season, Sligo Rovers have recruited another significant sponsor as local media institution The Sligo Champion become one of our chief supporters.

The Sligo Champion will be there every step of the way with Rovers as we confirm a new two year partnership with the Bit O’Red with the weekly newspaper.

The Sligo Champion logo will be placed on the back of all first team Sligo Rovers shirts in 2021 and 2022.

The Sligo Champion is now available as a digitial E-paper. You can subscribe here.

It follows the club’s highly successful season which saw them finish fourth, earning a place in Europe for the first time since 2014.

Manager Liam Buckley is busy putting together his squad for the new season, with the hope that Rovers can improve even more next season.

The Rovers boss has already put together a squad of 14 for the new season: Ed McGinty, Luke McNicholas, Lewis Banks, Garry Buckley, John Mahon, Shane Blaney, Robbie McCourt, David Cawley, Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan, Ryan De Vries, Romeo Parkes, Mark Byrne and Jordan Gibson.

The Sligo Champion has always been a strong supporter of the Bit O’Red and understand the importance of the club to its readers, county Sligo, and neighbouring counties.

General Manager of The Sligo Champion Lorraine McDonnell said: “We are delighted to be on board with Sligo Rovers for the next two seasons, which we hope will bring great success to the club.

“Sligo Rovers is a special club. We at The Sligo Champion have always enjoyed a great relationship at the club and wish to continue to show our support for Rovers with this deal.

“It will be an honour to see The Sligo Champion logo on Rovers’ jerseys, and hopefully we can play our part in a big year for the club.”

CEO of Sligo Rovers Colin Feehily added: “We are thrilled to be partnering up with The Sligo Champion.

“We have come together in the past with our weekly advertising slot in the paper and The Sligo Champion’s sponsorship of our popular summer camps, which will also continue as part of this agreement.

“The Sligo Champion is an important source of local information for people in the county and those Sligonians who have relocated.

“The introduction of the E-paper has been a popular one with those unable to buy their physical copy each week, particularly due to Covid restrictions.

“We’d like to thank everyone at The Sligo Champion for their support of the club.”

Sligo Rovers’ new home jersey is now available to buy online through srfcdirect.com.

Gibson reveals Doyle’s influence in joining Rovers

New Sligo Rovers signing Jordan Gibson has revealed that former Bit O’ Red star Eoin Doyle was an influence in his the move to The Showgrounds.

Gibson and Doyle were in the same Bradford team in 2018, with the new Rovers signing speaking fondly of the 2010 and 20111 FAI Cup winner.

When Liam Buckley made his move for Gibson, the 22-year-old made contact with Doyle.

He revealed: “I spoke with Eoin Doyle as I played with him at Bradford and he couldn’t have spoken highly enough of the club. He said it was a great club and it would be a great move for me.

“Eoin Doyle is a top man, I played with him a few times at Bradford. He is an all-round good person.

“He was the first person who came to mind when Sligo were interested as I knew he played with Sligo and in Ireland. I thought even thought it was a while ago now, his experience and guidance and advice would aid me to make my decision.

“At Bradford the club had just played the League 1 play-off final and lost it.

“They were aiming to try to go one better the next season so trying to get into the team was challenging. I made my debut in January in 2018 and then the manager was sacked a couple of days after that. I had five or six managers in three seasons at Bradford.

“As you can imagine it was hard to break in when a new manager kept coming in. I racked up a few appearances in League 1 and League 2. I scored a couple of goals too. I was delighted with that and being so young getting that experience was great.

“The gaffer here was very eager to sign me so I thought it would be a good opportunity to sign with a club like Sligo Rovers. With the club being in Europe, I’m excited to be playing against players on that stage.”