Mervue United A.F.C.
|Full name||Mervue United
Association Football Club
|League||Galway & District League
League of Ireland First Division
League of Ireland U21 Division
Connacht Senior League
Mervue United A.F.C. is an Irish association football club based in Mervue, Galway. Their senior men's team currently plays in the Galway & District League. The club has previously fielded teams in the Connacht Senior League, the League of Ireland U21 Division, the A Championship and the League of Ireland First Division.
Mervue United was formed in 1960 by a group of residents in the McDonagh Avenue area of Mervue, Galway. In 1964–65 the club won its first trophy, the Murphy Cup, a competition for under–13 boys teams. By the early 1970s Mervue United were playing in the Galway & District League and in 1972–73 they won promotion to the league's Premier division. They subsequently began to regularly win the league's two league cups, the Joe Ryan Cup and the Lillis Cup. In 1976–77 they also won a Galway & District League and Michael Byrne Cup double. By 1980 the Mervue United B team had also gained promotion to the Premier Division. However Galway Football Association rules insisted that two teams from the same club could not play in the same division. As a result, Mervue Celtic was founded as a separate club and, like United, they also found success in the Joe Ryan Cup and the Lillis Cup competitions. In 1981–82 they also won the Galway area FAI Junior Cup competition.
Connacht Senior League
Between 1981 and 2000 Mervue United played in the Connacht Senior League. In 1981–82, together with Sligo Rovers Reserves, Castlerea Celtic, Salthill Devon, Ballina Rovers, Tuam Celtic and UCG, Mervue United became founder members of the CSL. In its first season Mervue United finished as runners-up behind Sligo Rovers. They also won a league cup double, winning both the Connacht Senior League Cup and the Connacht Senior League Challenge Cup. Mervue United won the league for the first time in 1982–83 and subsequently went on to become one of the league's most successful teams, winning the title eight times. In 1982–83 and 1983–84 they completed two successive trebles winning the league title, the Challenge Cup and the Connacht Senior Cup. In 1992–93 they went one better and won a quartet of trophies, winning the league title, the Connacht Senior League Shield, Connacht Senior Cup and the Challenge Cup. Between 1996–97 and 1999–2000 Mervue United were also Connacht Senior League champions four times in a row. In 1999–2000 Mervue United completed another treble by also winning the League Cup and the Challenge Cup. In 1984–85 Mervue United first came to national prominence when they became the first CSL club to take part in the FAI Cup, losing 2–1 in the first round to the holders, UCD. In the 1986–87 FAI Cup they defeated Longford Town 1–0 in the first round but got knocked out by Rockmount in the next round. In 1997–98 Mervue United made a third appearance in the FAI Cup but were knocked out in the first round after a replay by Sligo Rovers. As Connacht Senior League champions, United were also invited to play in the League of Ireland Cup.
In 2008, together with local rivals, Salthill Devon, Mervue United were founder members of the A Championship. As the highest placed non-reserve team in the league's inaugural season, Mervue United qualified for a relegation/promotion play off. They subsequently defeated Kildare County 5–3 on aggregate and were promoted to the League of Ireland First Division. Between 2009 and 2013 Mervue United played in the League of Ireland First Division. In their final season they finished third before losing a relegation/promotion play off against Longford Town.
In 2012 an FAI commissioned report recommended that Galway city and County Galway should be represented in the League of Ireland by a single club or team based at Eamonn Deacy Park. The O'Connor Report also recommended that the Galway Football Association, the Galway United Supporters Trust, Salthill Devon and Mervue United should work together to form such a club. Following the conclusion of the 2013 season, both Mervue United and Salthill Devon withdrew from the League of Ireland First Division to make way for a reformed Galway United. The new board of Galway United featured two Mervue United representatives, Donnie Farragher and Declan McDonnell. The O'Connor Report had also recommended reforming the Connacht Senior League, allowing Mervue United and Salthill Devon to play at a provincial level. However, in June 2013 the Connacht Tribune reported that the plans for a reformed CSL were shelved due to a lack of sufficient interest from the clubs. The senior teams of Mervue United and Salthill Devon subsequently joined the Galway & District League.
Mervue United originally operated out of the Redemptorist Grounds before moving to Monivea Road were they shared facilities with Mervue Athletic Club. After joining the Connacht Senior League, the club secured a lease on a clubhouse and a pitch in Fahy's Field. This has remained the club's principal home ground ever since. During the 2009 and 2010 seasons when they were playing in the League of Ireland First Division, Mervue played at Terryland Park as Fahy's Field did not meet League of Ireland standards. The move away from their Mervue fan base affected attendances to the degree that they were the lowest in league records. In early 2011 Fahy's Field was upgraded with fencing and turnstiles been added, allowing Mervue United to play their later League of Ireland games there.
Notable former players
- Republic of Ireland international
- Republic of Ireland U21 internationals
- Top Goalscorers
- New Zealand U20 international
- Connacht Senior League
- Winners: 1982–83, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000: 8
- Runners Up: 1981–82, 1984–85: 2
- Connacht Senior Cup
- Winners: 1982–83, 1983–84, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1999–2000: 6
- Runners Up: 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1998–99, 2007–08: 5
- Connacht Senior League Challenge Cup
- Winners: 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1988–89, 1992–93: 6
- Runners Up: 1985-86: 1
- Connacht Senior League Cup/Shield
- Winners: 1981–82, 1992–93, 1999–2000: 3
- Connacht Junior Cup
- Winners: 1989–90, 1990–91, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2004–05, 2014–15: 6
- Runners Up: 1979–80, 1984–85: 2
- Galway & District League
- Winners: 1976–77, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13: 11
- Michael Byrne Cup
- Winners: 1976–77, 1977–78, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2010–11: 9
- Runners Up: 2006–07, 2012–13: 2
- "Mervue Club History". www.mervueunited.com. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Mervue United Club Role of Honour". www.mervueunited.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Mervue United". extratime.ie. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Connacht Senior League 1980s". www.connacht-sl.netne.net. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Connacht Senior League 1990s". www.connacht-sl.netne.net. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Ireland - FA of Ireland Cup 1921/22-1993/94". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "Ireland - Ireland League Cup 1973/74-2006". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Kildare County 0-3 Mervue United (Mervue win 5-2)". www.rte.ie. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "One club or nothing warns FAI on impasse". connachttribune.ie. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Mervue United swansong shines a light on FAI mismanagement". www.goal.com. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Football's comin' home — compromise reached as Galway FC applies to league". www.advertiser.ie. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "Galway United FC – Club History". galwayunitedfc.ie. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "More than one club a 'weakness' in Galway: report". extratime.ie. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Plans for new Connacht Senior League are temporarily shelved". connachttribune.ie. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Mervue Club Development Plans for 2013". www.mervueunited.com. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Mervue United League of Ireland Scorers". www.mervueunited.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.