Waterford United F.C.
|Full name||Waterford United Football Club|
|Ground||Waterford Regional Sports Centre,
|Capacity||5,500 (3,100 seats)|
|League||League of Ireland
|Website||Club home page|
Waterford United (Irish: Cumann Peile Aontaithe Phort Láirge) is an Irish football club playing in the First Division of the League of Ireland. The club was founded and elected to the league in 1930 and hail from Waterford. Originally the club was based at Kilcohan Park greyhound stadium, but have now moved to the Waterford Regional Sports Centre. Club colours are blue and white, and the club goes by the nicknames 'The Blues' or 'United'.
Waterford F.C. 1930–1982
Waterford first participated in the league in the 1930–1931 season finishing ninth and again from 1931–1932 before dropping out of the league for two seasons. Waterford re-entered the league in the 1935–1936 season along with Sligo Rovers. Waterford FC won the Shield in their first season.
Waterford won the FAI cup for the first time in their history in 1937 beating St. James Gate and also won the Shield.
The club were league runners up in 1937–1938 season and again in the 1940–1941 season. Both Waterford and League winners Cork United finished on equal points but Cork were awarded the title as Waterford were unable to compete in the play-off due to a dispute regarding payment to players. At the end of the campaign, the original Waterford FC resigned from the League of Ireland, only for a new entity, with the same name, to be elected in, for 1944–1945 season. Waterford won the Shield again in the 1952–1953 season and were again runners-up in the League this time to St. Patricks Athletic in the 1954–1955 season and again in the 1962–1963 season.
The club eventually won the league title for the first time in the 1965–1966 season, (under manager Paddy Coad) setting a then league record of 13 straight league victories. The 1965/66 title was the beginning of a hugely successful spell for the club domestically. The following season they played in the preliminary round of the Champions cup against Vorwärts Berlin, an East German and Army side, losing 6–1 at Dalymount Park and 6–0 in East Berlin.
They won the Shield once again in 1968 –1969 season. Waterford won the league title three times in a row, in 1968,1969 and in 1970. The title was won by Cork Hibernians in 1971 but returned to Waterford in the 1971–1972 season and again in the 1972–1973 season.
The following season Waterford won the League of Ireland Cup, however failed to regain the league title. The Club won the FAI Cup in 1980 beating St. Patricks Athletic with the winner from Brian Gardner. Waterford's success in the league brought European football playing against famous clubs such as Manchester United and Celtic. Bobby Charlton had a brief spell at the club in 1976, playing three times and scoring one goal.
Waterford United 1982–present
In May 1982, the Club changed its name to Waterford United FC. Alfie Hale was appointed manager. In 1985 the league's membership rose to 22 clubs with the election of six new clubs in 1985. This resulted in the introduction of the present two Division (Premier and First) structure in 1985/86 of which Waterford was a member of the Premier Division. Waterford were relegated to the First Division in the 1988–1989 season. Their stay there was short, gaining promotion and winning the First Division title the following season 1989–1990. They were unable to retain their Premier Division status the following season finishing in eleventh.
The club was promoted to the top flight in the 1991–1992 season finishing as runners up to Limerick. But again the club were unable to remain in the Premier Division for more than a single season suffering relegation on goal difference to Drogheda United.
Waterford United were promoted to the Premier Division, finishing top of the First Division in the 1997–1998 season and remained there until the 1999–2000 season suffering relegation in the playoffs to Kilkenny City. They were promoted to the Premier Division again in the 2002–2003 season.
In 2006 Waterford United were relegated to the First Division. The F.A.I took over the running of the League of Ireland at the end of the 2006 season. Part of this takeover involved the assessment of all League of Ireland sides and the manner in which they were being run including finances, infrastructure, future plans, marketability and previous finishing positions since the 2002 season, (this was due to Kildare County only joining the Eircom League in 2002). Despite finishing in 11th and last place ( Dublin City being the 12th team in the league and subsequently folding during the season) the club were forced to play a relegation/promotion playoff against Dundalk. Despite being defeated Waterford United still stood a chance of remaining a Premier Division side due to the FAI assessment. However on 8 December 2006 the FAI decided to relegate Waterford to the 1st Division with Shamrock Rovers and Galway United replacing them and the now defunct Dublin City.
Dundalk, despite beating Waterford in a playoff, were controversially overlooked and remained in the First Division. However on 20 February[when?] it was announced that Waterford United had been invited to participate in the Premier Division for the forthcoming season. Club secretary Larry Gough stated "The club considered the proposal carefully and decided to accept the invitation in the best interests of football in Waterford and the eircom league". However, The "Blues" were unfortunately relegated that season via the play-offs losing 6–3 on aggregate to Finn Harps.
After the dejection of relegation the "Blues" went into the 2008 season knowing that only one team from the First Division would be promoted and three from the Premier Division as the FAI look to revamp the league. A valiant effort from Cronin's Blues saw them come so close yet so far as the "Blues" fell away towards the business end of the season leaving Dundalk and Shelbourne in a two horse race come the final day of the season. In 2009 former Bohemians player, Stephen Henderson took over as boss at the Club and in his first season, the Blues narrowly missed out yet again for the playoffs and reached the League Cup Final and the FAI Cup semi finals. Henderson recently signed a 1 year extension to his contract for the 2010 season. In May 2011 Henderson was relieved of his duties after a string of poor results. Waterford native, Paul O'Brien was appointed manager for the duration of the season. Waterford United FC finished 5th in the 2011 Airtricity League First Division. The board in the off season then appointed Paul as full-time boss on a year contract for the 2012 season.
Directors: Chris Everett and Michael Drohan
Honorary President: Bertie Rogers
Management Committee: Tony Burke, John Douglas, Michael Drohan, Chris Everett, Greg Pheasey, Larry Gough, John O'Driscoll, John O'Sullivan, Ray Scott, Sam White.
Directors: Chris Everett, Michael Drohan
Honorary President: Bertie Rogers
Club Administrator: Michael Drohan
The Board: John Sullivan - Chairman and Head of Governance Tony Burke - Head of Finance Larry Gough - Head of Communications & Community Greg Pheasey - Head of Technical Sam White - Head of Infrastructure
Hon Secretary: Ray Scott
UEFA Licensing Officer: Chris Everett
Media Officer: John Kehoe
Event Controller: Mark Dunne
Safety Officer:Padraigh Dunne
Chief of Security: David Simpson
Doctor: Dr. Jorge Alcalá
Physiotherapist: Chris Morrissey
Club Administrator: Michael Drohan
Stadium Announcer: Michael Butler
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Manager: Tommy Griffin
Assistant Manager/Goalkeeping Coach: Billy Hearne
First Team Coach: Alan Barry
U19 Manager: Johnny Browne
U19 Coach: Declan Howlett
Club Doctor: Dr. Eithne Brenner
Physio: Chris Morrissey
U19 Physio: Seamus Conway
Equipment Manager: Michael Walsh
The club draws its support not only from Waterford City, but also from Waterford County and the South East region as a whole. WUFC fans have organised themselves into 3 fan groups.
Blues Supporter Club (B.S.C)
The Blues Supporters Club, which is the official Waterford United fans group was formed in December 2009 after members of the IBSC (Independent Blues Supporters Club) voted to become an official fans group. From the 2010 season, the BSC organises transport for Blues fans to away games, run the Club shop as well as organise numerous fund raising activities and other match day activities for Waterford United. There is also a branch of the BSC based in Dungarvan that accommodates Blues fans living in West Waterford. Membership is still open for the 2011 season and information can be found on Waterford United's home page. Long time Blues fan, Owen Tubbritt, was appointed PRO in December 2009. Current chairperson of the BSC is Julieanne Leahy.
Dublin Blues Supporters Club (DBSC)
The DBSC was formed in January 2007 as an independent outlet for Dublin and East Leinster based Waterford United fans. The DBSC organises transport, usually trains for Dublin based fans to away matches. Despite repeated attempts by the BSC to co-opt the DBSC into its organisation, the DBSC President, Comrade Leader Niall Doherty announced publicly that the DBSC would remain an independent supporters group. The DBSC operated a fan run radio station, Radio DBSC, established in May 2012 which provided internet radio commentary for Waterford United away games. In December 2013, the Radio DBSC Board voted to align itself with local radio station OpenTempo 105.1FM rebranding itself under the name, OpenTempo FM Sports Online. (they also broadcast local American Football Club, Waterford Wolves Matches, home and away.)
Blue Army "Ultras" (BAU)
The BAU was formed in January 2006 to bring an Italian-style Ultra atmosphere to the RSC and to away matches. The BAU is noticeable in its presence with its flag waving and chanting. The BAU in 2008 formed an alliance with the Lyngby BK Ultras of Denmark with its members attending travelling to Denmark to attend Lyngby BK games every season and vice versa. The BAU currently resides in Block E of the West Stand also known as the main stand and the old stand.
- League of Ireland Champions: 6
- 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73
- League of Ireland Cup: 2
- 1973–74, 1984–85
- FAI Cup: 2
- 1937, 1980
- League of Ireland First Division: 3
- 1989–90, 1997–98, 2002–03
- Munster Senior Cup: 15
- 1934–35, 1945–46* 1947–48, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1975–76, 1980–81, 1985–86, 1986–87, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013
- U-21 League titles: 1
- U-21 Cups: 1
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||8||1||1||6||6||14|
|European Cup 1966-67
|European Cup 1968-69
|European Cup 1969-70
|European Cup 1970-71
|European Cup 1970-71
|European Cup 1972-73
|European Cup 1973-74
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1979-80
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1980-81
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1980-81
|FC Dinamo Tbilisi||0–1||0–4||0–5|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1986-87
|FC Girondins de Bordeaux||1–2||0–4||1–6|
Selected former players
||This list of "famous" or "notable" persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (July 2013)|
- Paddy Coad (1960–63)
- John Phelan (1963–64)
- Paddy Coad (1964–67)
- Martin Ferguson (1967–68)
- Vinny Maguire (1968–69)
- Alfie Hale (1969–70)
- Shay Brennan (1970–74)
- Jim Craig (1974–75)
- Peter Fitzgerald (1975)
- Paul O'Donavon (1975)
- John McSeveney (1975–77)
- Colin Harper 1978
- Tommy Jackson (1978–82)
- Alfie Hale (1982–88)
- Peter Thomas (1988)
- Andy King (1988–89)
- Derek Casey (1989)
- Johnny Matthews (1989–90)
- Shamie Coad (1990)
- Alfie Hale (1991–93)
- Brendan Ormsby (1993–94)
- Johnny Matthews (1994–95)
- Michael Bennett (1995–96)
- Peter Fitzgerald (1996)
- Tommy Lynch (1996–98)
- Mike Flanagan (1998-00)
- Paul Power (2000–02)
- Jimmy McGeough (2002–03)
- Giles 'Slappy' Cheevers (2003)
- Alan Reynolds (2004–05)
- Brendan Rea (2005)
- Mike Kerley (2005–06)
- Gareth Cronin (2006–08)
- Stephen Henderson (2008–11)
- Paul O'Brien (2011–2013)
- Tommy Griffin (2014–)
- Fixture/result list from the FAI showing Waterford
- "Club Profile, Waterford United". Eircom League Of Ireland. Retrieved 28 September 2008.[dead link]