Santa Clause is coming to town

We are expecting a busy 9 days or so in the lead up to Christmas at our club store at Barton Smiths in Sligo Town.

As part of the build up, we will be receiving a special visit from Santa Clause at 12 noon to the store tomorrow, Saturday.

For 90 minutes only, there will be 10% off all items in store. Santa and his elf will be there to help you choose your favourite items and he will be happy to hear all our little Bit O Red supporter’s wish lists, just in case they need to tell the man himself in person.

With a new range of club hats, scarves and merchandise arrived just in time, there’s no better way to spend your Saturday afternoon.

We look forward to seeing you all.

Eddie McCullagh RIP

It was with great sadness that Sligo Rovers have learned of the passing of Club President Eddie McCullagh 

The McCullagh family have been at heart of Rovers for many years, and Eddie shared his late brother Dermot’s passion  for the club they held so dear.

Eddie was a supporter all his life, he served on the management committee and was a mainstay of the club lottery since it was introduced in the early 1990’s.

In the late 1960’s when Rovers bought the Showgrounds, Eddie led a team of volunteers to carry out a weekly collection around the housing estates of Sigo town. Eddie’s  patch included MCR, St Brigid’s and St Joseph’s, 144 houses he called to without fail every week, a huge commitment but typical of Eddie that he fulfilled this duty without any fuss.

As he recalled in later years: “Times were tough then, but people always had their shilling for Sligo Rovers”

Eddie was one of most modest and unassuming men you could meet, but it would be a brave soul who would criticise Sligo Rovers in his presence. 

His affection for the club attracted countless other supporters and volunteers to follow in his footsteps. 

In later years he suffered ill health and was cared for by a close circle of family and friends, in recent times in the loving care of staff of St John’s Hospital, where he was affectionately known as ‘Mr President ‘.

A highlight of a build-up to our FAI Cup semi-final this year was Kyle Callan-McFadden and Johnny Dunleavy visiting Eddie in St John’s.

He passed away overnight, with those that loved and cared for him by his side and along with some treasured Sligo Rovers mementos.  

Eddie will be sorely missed by his many friends at Sligo Rovers, but he will always be remembered and cherished as a gentle, kind soul who one of the club’s most loyal and dedicated servants.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam

Fashion show proceeds presented to Rovers

Last Saturday the Bit O’ Red collected a cheque from the BEAT IT World Record Fashion Show as organised by EJs Menswear to celebrate their 25th year in business.

The world record for models in a fashion show was broken on the night at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sligo.

A total of 459 models took to the catwalk on the night breaking the previous record of 408 models set in Thailand in 2018.

Remarkably, over €100,000 was raised on the night. Sligo Rovers were one of three groups to benefit. The presentations were made in the Blue Lagoon.

Colin Feehily speaking at the presentation night in the Blue Lagoon

Sligo Cancer Support Centre received €50,000, while the Sligo All Stars picked up €13,000. The Bit O’ Red, who were tasked with producing 200 models, generated €40,000.

Eamonn Cunningham of EJ Menswear and organising committee member told the Sligo Champion: “It was a truly unbelievable night, the community spirit of Sligo really shined through.

“Everyone pulled together to organise this record attempt and raise much needed funds for these worthwhile causes.”

The organisation of such an event took a lot of planning and this mammoth task fell to the organising committee, the staff of EJ Menswear and the many volunteers on the night, many of whom were connected to Rovers, including all of our players who took part.

The Fashion Show Committee

Their level of professionalism and determination is testament to their achievement.

Eamonn added: “Everyone involved on the night deserves a massive thank you. The EJ’s staff, the lads from the Rovers and All Stars and of course the people of Sligo and beyond that gave so generously over the days and weeks leading up to the event.

“Everyone should give themselves a big pat on the back.”

Sligo Rovers chief executive Colin Feehily said: “It was a night that will go down in the history books of Sligo and that is no exaggeration.

“We are so grateful to all at EJ’s, especially Eamonn, and all of the organising committee. Some of our most dedicated fans were a driving force behind it and I just want to say thank you to them and all of the models who took to the catwalk. The very best of Sligo was on show that night. Everyone in the room left beaming with pride and rightly so.

“We’re thrilled to see Sligo Cancer Support Centre receive such a large sum. The amount generated for Rovers is such a lift to us as well.

“We immediately used it for costs arising from the 2019 season and from a business perspective this gives us a stronger run to the new year and the start of the season.

“As people know, the costs of running Sligo Rovers are rising each year. That is the nature of competing in the top flight in the League of Ireland, especially when not in Europe.

“We are reliant on what we generate as a community. Nights like the fashion show makes our community so special.

“The fashion show has been a huge help to us so from everyone at the club, thank you again to all. We are all excited about 2020 and trying to get the club to a higher level.”

Bit O Red Wall Proving a big success

‘What’s the story with this wall?’ has been a prominent question over the last ten days with Sligo Rovers supporters since the launch of the new Bit O’ Red Wall.

The black granite tile, which you can have you or your family’s names engraved, will be placed behind The Treacy Avenue Stand outside the player’s tunnel in the ground. Supporters have been quick to snap up their tiles in the last week and demand is growing.

Chief executive of Sligo Rovers, Colin Feehily, said: “The reaction has been really good actually. People are very interested and it’s getting supporters thinking about what they could have on them. So far, the majority of sales have been as Christmas and birthday presents, or families wanting to show their support and having their own family tile.

“We have had supporters in America, Australia and the UK all taking tiles through our online store.

“A couple of people have also got one to remember a loved one who passed on, but it’s not just a ‘memorial wall’, it’s very much a wall for supporters past or present and it’s something that will continue to grow over the years.”

Buy your Bit O’ Red wall tile here

This initiative is another way the club are looking to improve the overall look of The Showgrounds and follows on from the recent outdoor museum launch which took place in October.

Tiles are available from The Showgrounds office, or at Barton Smiths in town where the club have their annual Christmas Shop set up for the festive period.

The club have put together a gift pack in which supporters buying presents can take to give to the person they’ve bought for.

Tiles cost €100 and there is no end date, the wall will be there for many years to come and it really gives Bit O’ Red Supporters the chance to have their own spot in the ground.

Will Seymore signs for Rovers

Will Seymore has become the latest player to sign with Sligo Rovers for the 2020 season, the club can confirm.

The 27-year-old midfielder joins from Reno 1868 where he spent a season and a half following a switch from FC Cinncinati.

The US midfielder lined out with former Sligo player Richie Ryan in midfield with Cincinnati in 2018.

Seymore played for Colchester United, Cambridge United, and Soham Town Rangers as a youngster having spent part of his childhood in England.

Will Seymore in action in 2019

He played for Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 for two years (2015-2017).

Will is the 16th signing for 2020.

Will Seymore said: “It feels great to be here. This has been in the works for a while and I’m really excited now that it is done. I can’t wait to get started.

“I grew up playing English academies and moved to back to the US. Liam’s style of play and the way he wants to play attracted me here.

“He told me about the upsides of the club and the potential. He spoke about the things we could achieve and I like to win.

“One of the things I hope to bring is my mentality. Off the field I’m pretty easy going but on the field I’m agressive, determined and want to win at all costs.

“I can’t wait to build a connection with my team-mates and start the season on the right foot.”

Liam Buckley said: “Will is someone I’ve tracked for a couple of years. I think he is equipped to do very well in this league. He fits exactly into how we want to play. His range of passing, and his overall ability in that area, is why we’ve brought him here.

“He is also a big, strong lad and he has done well in the US. We’ve done our due diligence on him. We spoke to a couple of contacts in the US. One was Richie Ryan who John Russell was in contact with. Richie and Will played together and Richie spoke about how he reads the game well and has all the attributes to do well for us.”

It is the first time Buckley has signed outside of Ireland this window. He said it is an area that can reap rewards.

“It’s a small market here in Ireland in terms of recruitment. We’ve had the likes of Romeo, Lewis Banks, that have come in and done very well and I hope Will can rival them.

“Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers will hoover up the best out of contract players in Ireland. We will always look for the best value that we can get, wherever that may be.

“I think we have our midfield options finalised. We have the likes of David Cawley, Garry Buckley and Will now who are all of a similar age with lots of experience, but don’t be surprised to see Niall Morahan and Darragh Noone stepping up to show they should be in the team come the start of the season.

“We start pre-season with all of the players trying to earn their spot.

“John Russell is going to come into the mix too. I’ll speak about that again. That’s a good core group in the middle of the park.

“We have 16 players signed now, plus John to be added.

“I expect to sign one more player, I’m not going to put a timescale on that at the moment. From there we will look at things. We’ve tried to plan ahead. We believe the off-season programmes are working for the lads and when we start in January we’ll start as a finalised group or as close to it as possible.

“That doesn’t guarantee you anything. It doesn’t guarantee us a brilliant season. But I do think it gives us a better chance. We want to land running. We want to be better. This is another step towards that and we’re looking forward to 2020.” 

Buckley gives further pre-season update

Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley has confirmed his players will be formally returning to training on 2nd January, by which time he expects more new faces in the group.

The Rovers boss has signed 15 players so far, with the additions of Darragh Noone and Garry Buckley the latest boost.

Liam, speaking to www.sligorovers.com in The Showgrounds this morning, said he is happy with the landscape at the moment.

“I am [pleased]. We are way ahead of where we were this time last year. Being into the second year here is undoubtedly helpful.

“When I was appointed the previous season had just ended and there was a lot of work to get through, from off-season programmes, to pre-season, and most importantly actually accessing the group and trying to put a squad together. Obviously it was a settling in period too. It is a different story this year.

“We signed up 13 players from the squad of 2019 and that’s extremely positive. We are going to switch a few things around with the squad as people have seen. The two new signings are the start of that.

“Darragh is a baller in the sense of it and has a lot of potential. He is an all-rounder in terms of position in midfield and is a really good addition.

“Garry has that experience, a winning experience, and if we get him to the level he was at Cork at their peak then we have a proper player on our hands. I think he can make a big impact here and be a big influence.”

Having spent much of his managerial career in Dublin, the move to Sligo last October left Buckley with a new challenge in terms of recruiting players.

He admits the process of bringing in players is “different” to being in the capital.

Liam with Darragh Noone

“There’s a larger selection of players in Dublin.

“In Dublin you have players that move from Pat’s to Bohs to Shelbourne, Bray, etc etc and that makes it in theory easier when they are more options, whereas here you are bringing a player to move to the area.

“It is different. But it doesn’t matter how many players are available if it isn’t the right one for the position you are looking for.

“Having done one year here already, it makes it easier going into the second year. I think this club is a fantastic opportunity for any player. For me it isn’t about the fact we have 15 players signed but more that I’m quite pleased with the 15 we have.

“You’ll see with the likes of Garry coming here from Cork that people see the potential. We’ll have three to four more players coming in, and we are in a good place on that. I don’t want to go into too much on it but we expect movement on some of that before we start pre-season certainly.

“We’ve been active on this, not just since the end of the season but all year. We’ve been exploring all of the markets. Dave Campbell, John and I have been meeting on it regularly. It doesn’t really stop. It’s absolutely crucial you get that right.”

Last July, Rovers made just one move, signing Danny Kane who was recovering from a serious injury.

Jack Keaney, Mitchell Beeney and Liam Kerrigan departed the group and it left numbers tight for the rest of the campaign.

Suspensions and injuries also hampered Rovers, which led to changed team selections and formations, something the manager is hoping to reduce going forward.

“We’ll bring in new faces as I’ve said. We lost three players last July and brought in Danny, who was just recovering from being out for a long time and finding his feet again.

“Actually I think we’ll see what a good signing that was next year because Danny is a top player and the last few months were important for him.

“But it did leave us tight and it will be a tight group again. There is no doubt we’ll be looking to the Under-19s to add to the squad at times. They have done well for us in the past.

“One thing we need to look at it is our suspensions. I think it was 28 matches where we were carrying a suspension to a player and that just isn’t acceptable. We’ll be looking to reduce that significantly for 2020.

Enter the Sligo Rovers Christmas Raffle

“We have versatile players and we had to be adaptable. But it left us chopping and changing and made it harder to get our style of play as we’d want it. We’d like to be more settled.”

The players are currently working on their off-season programmes, and will have a six-week pre-season campaign.

Buckley will utilise strength and conditioning coach Tom French for, not just pre-season, but more throughout the year.

One target will be to reduce muscle injuries, with hamstring problems for three players emerging during 2019 meaning they missed some matches.

“In terms of pre-season, we are miles ahead of last year again

“We have teamed up with CrossFit Sligo who have come on board as our Strength & Conditioning partner.

“It won’t be that we will spending all of our pre-season there, it’s more that we’ll be changing workloads throughout the year where needed so it might not always be training on the pitch for individuals.

“The staff and I will be monitoring that. We think we have got to the bottom of it in certain cases.

“The lads are in the gym and maintaining fitness levels, so when they return it will not take long to get working on our patterns of play etc.”

2020 season ticket sales have been good so far with just under three weeks to the Christmas early bird deadline.

Click here to buy season tickets

Buckley said he is looking forward to being back in The Showgrounds next year, with no specific target in terms of achievement.

“Well we have to be better, and we have to bridge a gap in terms of points, so I see it that we need to do anything and everything to get there.

“I’m happy with the outlook now. We are putting a group together that can bridge that gap in my view.

“We need the supporters to do exactly what they did last year. When we had that period of losing and drawing, they really stuck by us. Every season will have sticky points.

“What we’re looking to do is become even stronger at home, to develop our patterns of play and become a better team than last year overall.

“Over the coming weeks we will add new faces as the final places in the squad are filled. It will give us a platform to try and go do something and as they come on board, we want each and every supporter with us too.

“We can grow this thing, we can become stronger and stronger and getting our fans on board is key to that. It makes our job easier in all aspects.”

Christmas draw: Less than three weeks to go

The Sligo Rovers Christmas Draw is now underway with some extra special prizes this year.

The winner of the draw will receive €500.

Second prize: Tickets to Westlife’s concert in Pairc Ui Chaoimh

Clik here to buy tickets: https://srfcdirect.com/christmas-draw-ticket/

Third prize: Two night’s B&B in the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny

Fourth prize: Sligo Rovers season ticket for 2020

Fifth prize: Two tickets for Republic of Ireland Nations League game in the Aviva Stadium

Sixth prize: Christmas Hamper

Seventh prize: Dinner for two in the Clayton Hotel, Sligo

Eighth prize: Sligo Rovers 2020 jersey

Tickets available here or from committee members or the club office

Season tickets and club shop

2020 season tickets are now on sale online and in our club store in Barton Smiths.

Click here to buy online

Ticket prices here

As with every year, supporters are encouraged to buy before Christmas Day, as prices increase after this.

Supporters have the chance to reserve their own seat for every league game in 2020, as well as all the cup games too. In previous seasons, Gold Season Tickets only reserved your seat for league games, however in 2020 we have added cup matches so you don’t have to worry about coming early to secure a seat, your name will be on it.

Gold Season Tickets:

A Sligo Rovers Gold Season Ticket allows the supporter to select their favourite seat in the ground and have it reserved for every game of the season. Whether you work late and can only make kick off, enjoy a pre-match tea or coffee in the clubhouse, or you simply want to wait until the last minute to avoid the cold, your seat is secured.

Gold season tickets will work out at around €3.50 extra per match.

Adult Season Tickets:

Adult season ticket prices for 2020 have been frozen, with no increase from last season at €220.

An adult Gold ticket costs €300, where you can reserve your seat for every game, as explained above.

Gold Season tickets are continuing to prove extremely popular with an increase in demand each season.

Student and Concession categories:

We are again offering discounted rates for second and third level students. Secondary school tickets are €100, around half the amount you would pay by paying on the gate each week, and Third Level Student tickets are €140, saving you around €40 for the season.

Bit O Red supporters who are unemployed can purchase a concession season ticket which will cost €150, with an up to date letter required from your local Intreo office to show your you are not working.

OAP/Senior Citizen Tickets:

These tickets are €140 for 2020, with the gold option just €210.

Family Season Tickets:

As with previous seasons, we are offering families a discounted rate for entry to The Showgrounds. For two adults and to children aged 12 or under, it will cost €500. This is a big saving for families of four, however we understand as a club the significant spend these families will have over the course of the season, so we feel this offer will be a great help to them.

Super Reds:

Our fantastic Super Red offer will again remain for 2020.

Season Ticket prices will be €60 for kids aged 12 and under, but this season they will get even more.

Kids will receive a Sligo Rovers training kit, including a crested T-Shirt, club shorts and socks, which will be worn Liam Buckley’s first team in 2020. Kids will also be given a voucher for €10 off our new 2020 home kit, as well as entrance to our hugely popular Super Red open day where Super Red ticket holders will receive their training kits, meet the first team players and be put through their paces by manager Liam Buckley and his staff in an hour long coaching session. Kids will also receive a birthday card in the post in time for their big day in 2020, signed by their favourite player.

Credit Union Finance:

To make it easier for supporters to purchase their season tickets for 2020, we have teamed up with Sligo Credit Union who will offer supporters a short term loan, in order to purchase their ticket and enable them to pay for it over the course of the season, rather than in one lump sum before Christmas.

To purchase your ticket online, visit www.srfcdirect.com

To purchase your ticket, you may also visit one of the following outlets:

  • The Showgrounds
  • Barton Smith, Sligo
  • Collery Menswear, Sligo
  • Lavins Menswear, Ballymote
  • John Lowe, Carrick On Shannon
  • Greenan Electric, Boyle
  • Gerry Kenny Sport, Ballina
  • Colerys Shop, Ballina
  • Gillespies, Tubbercurry
  • Tansey’s Centra, Gurteen
  • Tony Quinn, Cliffoney



Garry Buckley joins Rovers

Sligo Rovers are thrilled to announce the signing of Garry Buckley from Cork City

The former league and two-time FAI Cup winner moves to the Bit O’ Red having spent his entire career at his hometown club. 

At 26, Buckley represents a significant capture for Rovers, with Liam Buckley hailing it as a big addition to his squad.

Garry Buckley signing today

Garry, meanwhile, says he chose to move to Sligo to win trophies, and not rest on the success previously achieved with Cork.

Garry Buckley undergoing his medical

Garry said: “I’m really excited. It’s a fresh start, a new challenge. It wasn’t something I did lightly. I had to consider many things.

“I could have stayed at Cork and been comfortable. But I wanted to challenge myself and hopefully win another trophy. I’ve won a few but I don’t just want to look back at that. I know Sligo are looking to move towards winning trophies and I’ve bought into that.

“The word Liam gave to me was ‘potential’. I can see it. I know from being in the league that the support the club gets, particularly when doing well, is very good. It’s a bit like Cork the way it’s an entire community and the fans drive it. 

“You can’t describe the feeling of winning things. I think winning makes you even more hungry. I want it again, and I’ve come here to get it. 

“I’ve had a knack of scoring a goal and I’ll certainly be looking to bring that here. My personal target is playing well here firstly. That’s my own target, be at my best. We’ll see as a group what we can achieve, I think it’s clear I’ve signed today with a particular target overall.”

Liam Buckley added: “It’s a fantastic signing for us. He’s won everything with Cork and brings a great deal of experience. I’m really looking forward to working with him. 

“He brings height, physicality and I think he’ll be a very positive influence in our dressing-room. His overall game will be a major asset to us. We are switching some things around having kept 13 players from last year so far. These are the first two and others are being pursued. There’s lots going on in that area. 

“I’m confident we will have more signed over December, we are close, one or two might take that little bit longer after that. I expect last year’s group to be better next year and the new players will add to what we have.

“I do have a message for the supporters. Your season tickets, your support of all we have going on, that all helps what John Russell, Dave Campbell and all the staff and I are trying to do. The more fans we have on board with us, the stronger the club becomes.

“Garry is a great lad and a great player that will relish being at this club. It’s a really important signing for us.

Darragh Noone joins Rovers

Sligo Rovers can confirm the signing of midfielder Darragh Noone.

The midfielder was with Bray Wanderers in the Premier Division before joining Shelbourne as they sealed promotion to the top flight next season.

The 22-year-old scored against the Bit o’ Red in 2016 as one of his first career goals. 

Manager Liam Buckley said: “Darragh has been on my radar for the last few seasons. 

“He did very well with Bray and was part of the successful Shels side last year. He brings a lot of energy to the midfield and he’ll get his chance with us. 

“At 22 he has his best to come after getting established in the league.

“It’s a big opportunity for him to come here and be full-time in the environment. I think that’ll bring more from him and we look forward to seeing him go from strength to strength. 

Noone said: “I’m delighted to be here. I’ve always been impressed by Sligo Rovers and so many aspects of the club.

“I wanted to be back in the Premier Division and to get the chance at Sligo Rovers is brilliant. There’s brilliant facilities, players, a manager that I can’t wait to work with because he really sold me on everything the club and him and trying to do.

“There’s a great community sense and the atmosphere at the Showgrounds is always brilliant. I can’t wait to play in front of the fans because I know as an opposition player what it was like coming here.

“I’m hungry to succeed. That’s why I’ve moved here and I’m counting the days down until we properly start pre-season.”