St Patrick's Athletic F.C.
|Full name||St Patrick’s Athletic Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||Pats, St Pats, Saints, SuperSaints|
|League||League of Ireland
|2015||Premier Division, 4th|
|Website||Club home page|
St Patrick's Athletic F.C. (Irish: Cumann Peile Lúthchleas Phádraig Naofa) is an Irish association football club based in Inchicore, Dublin, that plays in the Irish Premier Division. Founded in May 1929, they played originally in the Phoenix Park but they moved to their current ground Richmond Park in 1930.
St Patrick's Athletic have won numerous trophies in Irish Club Football, including nine League Titles, the fifth most in Irish Football, as well as three FAI Cups and two League Cups. The current manager is Liam Buckley, who is in his second spell in charge at the club after replacing Pete Mahon in 2011.
The club graduated through the ranks of the Leinster Senior League and duly took their place in the League of Ireland in 1951, and won the Championship at their first attempt. The club's glory years came in the 1950s and 1990s when they won 7 of their 9 league titles. The club also have the record for never having been relegated from the Premier Division . The club play in red and white colours, and their nicknames include The Saints, Supersaints and Pats. The Saints also have a lot of Dublin Derby games with the likes of Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Leinster Senior League years
- 1.2 1950–1960
- 1.3 1960–1980
- 1.4 1980–1990
- 1.5 1990–1999
- 1.6 2000–2004
- 1.7 Johnny McDonnell Reign (2004–2009)
- 1.8 Jeff Kenna Season: European Run and Domestic Struggle (2009)
- 1.9 Pete Mahon Years (2009–2011)
- 1.10 Return of Liam Buckley: Return of Success (2012–Present)
- 2 Fans
- 3 Community
- 4 First Team Squad
- 5 Youth Structure
- 6 Honours
- 7 Notable Players
- 8 Records
- 9 European record
- 10 Managers
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Leinster Senior League years
During the late 1940s and 1950s St Pat's played in the Leinster Senior League. During this period they won the league title on six occasions. This included four successive titles between 1947–48 and 1950–51. In 1947–48 St Pat's completed a treble after also winning both the FAI Intermediate Cup and Leinster Senior Cup. The 1948–49 season would see St Pat's win a Leinster Senior League / FAI Intermediate Cup double. In 1950–51 a young Shay Gibbons helped St Pat's win the Leinster Senior League title for a fourth time. After St Pat's first team joined the League of Ireland in 1951–52, their reserve team won two further Leinster Senior League titles in 1955–56 and 1956–57.
Entering The League Of Ireland
In 1951–52 the club was admitted, along with Cork side Evergreen United, to the League of Ireland. St Pats made an immediate impact, winning the league championship at their first attempt. Two more league championship successes followed in 1954–55 and 1955–56. The club had to wait until 1959 before their first FAI Cup success, repeating the feat in 1961. Despite several appearances in the final since 1961, it took the Saints till 2014 to win their third
Many of the Pats players of that golden era are still recalled fondly today – Ginger O'Rourke, Harry Boland ('The Legend', 1926–2000), Jimmy 'Timber' Cummins (a cousin of one of the founders – Bart Cummins) Jimmy 'Growler' Cummins (a brother of Bart Cummins) Irish international Shay Gibbons, Ronnie Whelan Snr. and Willie Peyton are players who contributed greatly during this era.
St Pats struggled throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s with only the odd cup final or young star emerging to brighten things for long suffering Pats fans. Among those players to emerge was Noel Campbell. Campbell spent a number of years with St Pats (gaining the first of his Irish caps) before moving to SC Fortuna Köln where he would play 8 seasons. Perhaps the brightest star to play for St Pats was Paul McGrath. McGrath was signed by Saints' manager Charlie Walker from junior side Dalkey United. Within a year he had won the PFAI Player of the Year award and earned himself a move to Manchester United. The World cup Winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks also played one match for St Pats, making him by far the brightest star to turn out for the club in 1977.
The appointment of Brian Kerr as manager in 1986 was a major turning point in the fortunes of the club. Kerr worked on limited resources to create team capable of challenging the best. The championship in the decade. At the end of the 1988/89 season St Pats left Richmond Park for what the board of directors called "a short time" while redevelopment work was done.
Playing in Harold's Cross, Kerr's blend of young players (Paul Osam, Curtis Fleming, Pat Fenlon, John McDonnell) and experienced campaigners disregarded by other clubs (Damian Byrne, Dave Henderson) won the club's first league championship in 34 years on Easter Monday 1990. Most Irish football commentators expected the young Saints to dominate Irish football for some time. A series of takeover attempts saw the club thrust into turmoil and Kerr was forced to break up the team. In the summer of 1992 the club were hours away from extinction before a group of local investors raised £82,000 to save the club.
Having spent four years in Harold's Cross the club returned to a new look Richmond Park in 1993, their spiritual home in Dublin's Inchicore. Brian Kerr began the task of creating a winning setup once again. With the aid of a newly appointed Chief Executive, and former player, Pat Dolan and by the club's new Chairman, Tim O'Flaherty, the league trophy returned to Richmond Park in 1996.
A new generation of footballing heroes emerged in Pats colours with greats such as Eddie Gormley, Paul Osam and Ricky O'Flaherty together with exciting young stars such as Colin Hawkins and Trevor Molloy thousands flocked to Inchicore for Friday nights under the floodlights in Richmond Park. When Kerr resigned to take up the Director of Coaching job with the FAI, the good work was continued by Pat Dolan and then Liam Buckley installed as manager. The glory continued as further league championships were secured in 1998 and 1999 which led to European qualification and a creditable 0–0 draw with the famous Celtic at Celtic Park, the club lost the return leg in Tolka Park, Dublin but the away draw was a major boost for Irish football against such a famous club in the world game. The club however suffered a humiliating setback in the same competition one year later when they lost 10–0 on aggregate to Zimbru Chişinău.
Into the new century, the success continued. St. Pats won both the League of Ireland Cup and Leinster Senior Cup in 2000/01. Controversy dogged the club in the 2001/02 season due to player registration irregularities. The club had 9 points deducted due to fielding an ineligible player (Paul Marney) in their first 3 games of the season, but this decision was revoked upon arbitration, on 22 March 2002. They then had 15 points deducted for playing Charles Mbabazi Livingstone in the first 5 matches of the season in spite of not having registered him until 12 September 2001. St. Pats argued that they did not intentionally seek to gain advantage as the player was registered correctly the previous season, there was nothing underhand about it. An FAI arbitration panel would reject the Saints appeal of the point deduction and to this day the Saints still contest that they are the rightful league champions. That season also saw St. Patrick's come close to merging with fellow League of Ireland club St. Francis. This move was greeted with anger by club supporters and although St. Francis went out of business (and therefore the league) the merger never happened.
New Club Chairman Andrew O'Callaghan was appointed in the summer of 2002 and has worked to modernize the club and face the new challenges of UEFA licensing and ground development. St. Pats made Irish footballing history in 2002 by becoming the first club to progress in the Intertoto Cup with a victory over Croatian team NK Rijeka over two legs – the club were eventually knocked out of the competition only on away goals to KAA Gent of Belgium.
Johnny McDonnell Reign (2004–2009)
The club marked its 75th anniversary in 2004, also in 2004 a change of management happened with former favourite Johnny McDonnell taking over the helm at the club. In 2005 the club were forced to investigate the idea of sharing a new stadium in Tallaght with Shamrock Rovers in order to comply with the FAI's wish for Dublin clubs to ground share. The move was met with furious protests by the club's supporters and a group calling themselves 'Pats for Richmond' was set up to organise demonstrations. In July 2006 St. Pats signalled their intention to stay in Richmond Park by purchasing the Richmond House pub (also known as McDowell’s) for use as an official clubhouse. The club lost yet another FAI Cup Final in December 2006 and their hunt for their 3rd victory in the elusive competition continues. In early 2007 the club was purchased by wealthy property magnate Garrett Kelleher. After a number of months of negotiations, Kelleher finally announced himself as Chairman of St Patrick's Athletic on 19 July 2007. One of his first acts on taking over St Pats was to appoint ex-manager Brian Kerr as director of football. It was widely reported in Irish newspapers that Kelleher was preparing to spend €50 million on upgrading St. Pats' Richmond Park home.
During the 2007 season Pat's were neck and neck with Drogheda United for the title, but Pat's slipped away and Drogheda United eventually finished up as champions.
It was the same again for the 2008 season with Pat's battling up the top with Bohemians for the title. Also this year Pat's were in Europe because their 2nd-place finish in 2007 allowed them qualify for the 2008–09 UEFA Cup. During their European run St. Pat's progressed through two rounds of the UEFA Cup beating JFK Olimps Riga and Elfsborg but the run came to an end when they lost to Hertha BSC in the First Round proper. Pat's also lost out to Bohemians for the league title.
Jeff Kenna Season: European Run and Domestic Struggle (2009)
For the 2009 season Pat's replaced Johnny McDonnell with Jeff Kenna in January 2009. He didn't have the best of starts with a 3–0 home defeat to former club Galway United. He was immediately put under pressure when bad run of results put them into a relegation battle. Despite the poor league form, once again Pat's had another European run in the Europa League again progressing through two rounds of the Europa League, thus becoming only the second League of Ireland club (after Cork City in 2004 and 2005) to achieve such progress in two consecutive European campaigns. Pat's this time won games against Valletta FC and Russian Premier League side Krylia Sovetov to reach the play-off round where they were defeated by FC Steaua București.  In September 2009 with Pat's struggling, Kenna resigned and was replaced for two games by Maurice O'Driscoll. Pete Mahon then took over until the end of the season and avoided relegation, winning two must win games on the final two weeks of the season, away to Drogheda United and at home to Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers.
Pete Mahon Years (2009–2011)
Pete Mahon was appointed as manager for the 2010 season with John Gill as his assistant. The Super Saints reached their first Setanta Sports Cup final, where they met local rivals Bohemians after overcoming Sligo Rovers 6–2 over 2 legs. They lost the final at the Tallaght Stadium 1–0 however. The Saints were knocked out of the FAI Cup by archrivals Shamrock Rovers in a semi-final replay at Richmond Park, after knocking Dundalk, Belgrove and Sporting Fingal out. They were near the top of the table for the majority of the season, however fell off somewhat near the end and finished in mid-table. The demised of Sporting Fingal saw the Saints take their European place for the 2011 season. Mahon led a successful Europa League campaign, knocking out Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja from Iceland and FC Shakhter Karagandy from Kazakhstan before eventually being knocked out in the third qualifying round by Ukrainian side FC Karpaty Lviv. The Saints won the 2011 Leinster Senior Cup after beating Dublin rivals Bohemians 2–0 at Dalymount Park.The Saints bid to end their 50-year drought of winning the FAI Cup came to a heartbreaking end, after knocking Crumlin United, Waterford United and Cork City out, the Saints faced old rivals Shelbourne in the semi-final. The Saints drew 1–1 at Tolka Park, failing to make use of their one-man advantage for the whole second half. The game went to a replay at Richmond Park and things were going well when David McMillan opened the scoring for the Saints, but goalkeeper Gary Rogers was extremely harshly sent off early on and Shels went on to win 3–1. Similar to the 2010 season, the Saints were near the top of the table for the most part of the season in 2011, but their title challenge petered out towards the end of the season and the Saints finished fourth meaning they would participate in UEFA Europa League qualifiers in the 2012 season.
Return of Liam Buckley: Return of Success (2012–Present)
The Saints decided not to renew manager Pete Mahon's contract for the 2012 season, appointing former player and manager Liam Buckley to the job, giving him a two-year contract with former player and assistant manager at the club, Trevor Croly as his assistant. Buckley refurbished the squad by bringing in fourteen and getting rid of sixteen. Among the new signings were 6 Bohemian's players, notably Chris Forrester, Christy Fagan, and current captain Ger O'Brien. Meanwhile, 6 of those not retained by Pat's went in the opposite direction, an indication of the change in circumstances at both clubs.
Buckley immediately introduced a more attractive brand of football than was witnessed under Mahon, whose sides had generally punched above their weight but ultimately lacked the quality to seriously challenge for the title. Pat's started the season off well with the team playing wonderful football and being unbeaten in its first six games, which included the game against Shamrock Rovers which they demonstrated their wonderful football brilliantly in a memorable 5–1 win over their fierce rivals. Buckley took the reigns of the club knowing of the European expectations at the club and he didn't disappoint, managing his side to a third qualifying round place after knocking both Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja and NK Široki Brijeg out after extra-time, to earn a tie with German powerhouse Hannover 96, who knocked the Saints out in the third qualifying round. Buckley's side finished 3rd in the league, 6 points off champions Sligo Rovers. He also guided his side to the 2012 FAI Cup Final, the club's first game at the Aviva Stadium, but lost 3–2 in extra-time to Derry City and extending the Saints' FAI Cup winning drought to 52 years.
The Saints then endured a tumultuous pre-season, losing Sean O'Connor, James Chambers, and Barry Murphy, as well as Buckley's number two, Trevor Croly, to rivals Shamrock Rovers. Crucially, though, Pat's held on to a number of other players who had been strongly linked with Rovers, including Chris Forrester and Ian Bermingham, and added some quality to the first XI in the form of Killian Brennan (who would go on to win both the PFAI Players' Player of the Year and FAI National League Player of the Year awards), and Conan Byrne (who contributed an impressive 9 league goals during the season).
St Patrick's Athletic clinched the 2013 League of Ireland title on 13 October 2013 after a 2–0 win against holders Sligo Rovers. During the 2014 season Pats won the FAI Cup after a 53-year wait with a 2–0 win over Derry City.
Saints fans have widely become known as some of the most active and vocal throughout the country. Throughout the club's history, any period of turmoil was always met with protest by the loyal saints. In 2001, an ultras group called the Shed End Invincibles were set up, for four years they created huge tifo displays, choreographed chants and created Richmond Park into a fortress. After a period of exile, the ultras group were reignited under new leadership. Since then, their work has been applauded by other fans. Big banners, flares, and smoke screens are a common sight at St.Pats matches. Overseas visitor are regularly found at Richmond Park on a match night, including a Norwegian Pats' supporters club. As well as this, the club's supporters share friendships with supporters of clubs such as Ravenna from Italy, Sheffield United of England and Hannover 96 of Germany. Fans of these clubs, along with Pats fans, regularly travel to one another's matches. Famous fans include former Irish manager Brian Kerr and Wendell Pierce
The club motto is Ní neart go cur le chéile (as Gaeilge). It translates to No strength without unity. St Patrick's Athletic is strongly linked with Inchicore and the local south west Dublin community. The club operate schoolboy teams at every age group from under 10 to under 18.
In 1996 St Patrick's Athletic F.C. took over the women's football team O'Connell Chics.
First Team Squad
The club field an Under 19 and an Under 17 team that compete in the League of Ireland U19 Division and League of Ireland U17 Division respectively.
NUI Maynooth Scholarship Scheme
Set up in 2010, St Patrick's Athletic have a scholarship scheme in place with NUI Maynooth. The scheme allows Pats to offer young players the opportunity to play with the club's Youth sides whilst undergoing their third level studies on a sports scholarship. There is a big St Pat's influence in the scheme with the Soccer Development Officer at Maynooth being former Pats defender Barry Prenderville as well as club captain Ger O'Brien managing the side to their first ever Collingwood Cup win in 2014, with teammate Brendan Clarke as his assistant. The scholarship scheme is a big asset to St Pat's, as it helps attract the top young talent in the country to the club ahead of their rivals. The scheme has also been a huge success, with the Saints Under 19s side winning the Dr. Tony O'Neill Cup in 2015 to become the best side in the country, as well as a whole host of players graduating from the Youth Setup into Liam Buckley's First Team squad such as Jake Carroll, Seán Hoare, Jamie McGrath, Jack Bayly, Darragh Markey, Paul Rooney and many many more.
Crumlin United Affiliation
On the 1st March 2016, the Saints announced an Affiliation Agreement with local side Crumlin United, one of the countries top schoolboy clubs, to improve Pats Youth Setup while also benefiting Crumlin and their young players.
St Patrick's Athletic FC are pleased to announce an affiliation agreement with Crumlin United FC. The vision of both clubs is to create the means and environment to nurture and develop young talent in the interest of players, clubs and domestic football.
The two clubs will work closely together to define a tangible plan for each young player to maximise their talent and ambition. This plan would see young players progress through to the underage and senior structures of the SSE Airtricity League and potentially beyond.
The partnership further strengthens the aspiration of St Pat's under the ownership of Garrett Kelleher to provide greater opportunities to young players from the immediate community enabling them to further their footballing ambitions in Ireland, a goal that Saints' manager Liam Buckley has promoted during his entire management.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- League of Ireland/Premier Division: 8
- FAI Cup: 3
- 1958–59, 1960–61, 2014
- League of Ireland Cup: 4
- President’s Cup: 1
- League of Ireland Shield: 1
- Dublin City Cup: 3
- 1953–54, 1955–56, 1975–76
- FAI Super Cup: 1
- LFA Presidents Cup: 6
- 1952–53, 1953–54, 1955–56, 1971–72, 1990–91, 1996–97
- Leinster Senior Cup: 8
- FAI Intermediate Cup: 3
- 1947–48, 1948–49, 1952–53
- Leinster Senior League: 6
- 1947–48, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1955–56, 1956–57
- FAI Junior Cup: 1
- FAI Youth Cup: 1
- Dr Tony O'Neill Cup: 2
- 2000–01, 2014–15
- Republic of Ireland internationals
- League of Ireland XI representatives
- Republic of Ireland B internationals
- Republic of Ireland U23 internationals
- Republic of Ireland U21 internationals
- Other internationals
- SWAI Goalkeeper of the Year
- Brendan Clarke (2013)
- League of Ireland Player of the Year;
- Harry Boland Hall of Fame
- League of Ireland Top Scorer
- Record League Goal scorer Shay Gibbons – 108 goals
- Record League Goal scorer in one Season Shay Gibbons – 28 goals in 1954–55
- Record Goal scorer in Europe Christy Fagan – 6 goals
- Record Goal scorer in Europe in one season Declan O'Brien – 4 goals in 2009
- St. Pats Full League Record
P 1805 W 752 D 477 L 575 F 2652 A 2354 Pts 2328
Statistics are correct up to 25/3/2015
Above points tally is the amount of points earned in real terms. In most seasons the league used a 2 pts for a win system
If using a straight 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw system, St. Pats would've earned 2733 points
- Record League Points Tally 73 in season 1998–99 (33 games)
- Record League Goals Tally 66 in season 2014 (33 games)
- Record League Victory 8–0 (h) v Limerick (10 December 1967)
- Record FAI Cup Victory 8–0 (h) v Pike Rovers (21 May 2016)
- Record Leinster Senior Cup Victory 7–0 (h) v Tolka Rovers (9 February 2015)
- Record European Appearances Ian Bermingham – 18 appearances
Record by competition
As of June, 2016
|European Cup/UEFA Champions League||4||8||0||3||5||2||23|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup/UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League||10||36||9||6||21||35||62|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1||2||0||0||2||1||8|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup||1||4||2||0||2||6||6|
- (H): Home fixture
- (A): Away fixture
- (N): Neutral Venue
- (a): (Away Goals Rule)
- (aet): (After Extra Time)
- 1R: First round
- 2R: Second round
- PR: Preliminary round
- 1Q: First qualifying round
- 2Q: Second qualifying round
- 3Q: Third qualifying round
- PO: Play-off round
- As of 23 March 2016[update]
|Manager||Career||P||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Win %||Loss %||Notes|
|Liam Buckley||2012–||199||111||37||51||333||195||137||55.8%||25.6%||Won 2013 League of Ireland Premier Division, 2014 FAI President's Cup, 2014 Leinster Senior Cup, 2014 FAI Cup, 2015 League of Ireland Cup|
|Pete Mahon||2009–11||114||54||27||33||175||111||64||47.4%||28.9%||Won 2011 Leinster Senior Cup|
|Maurice O'Driscoll (interim)||2009||2||0||1||1||2||3||−1||0%||50%|
|Eamonn Collins||2003–04||48||19||18||11||70||58||12||39.6%||22.9%||Won 2003 League of Ireland Cup|
|Pat Dolan||2000–03||55||20||17||18||66||63||3||36.4%||32.7%||Won 1999 FAI Super Cup, 2001–02 League of Ireland Cup, 1999–00 Leinster Senior Cup|
|Liam Buckley||1998–2000||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||0%||0%||Won 1998–99 League of Ireland Premier Division|
|Pat Dolan||1996–98||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||0%||0%||Won 1996–97 LFA President's Cup, 1997–98 League of Ireland Premier Division|
|Brian Kerr||1986–96||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||0%||0%||Won 1989–90 League of Ireland Premier Division, 1986–87 Leinster Senior Cup, 1989–90 Leinster Senior Cup, 1990–91 Leinster Senior Cup, 1990–91 LFA President's Cup, 1995–96 League of Ireland Premier Division|
|Charlie Walker||1979–84||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||0%||0%||Won 1982–83 Leinster Senior Cup|
|George Richardson||1975–76||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||0%||0%||Won 1975–76 Dublin City Cup|
|Jack Burkett||1971–75||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||0%||0%||Won 1971–72 LFA President's Cup|
|Unknown||1951–63||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||0%||0%||Won 1951–52 League of Ireland, 1952–53 LFA President's Cup, 1953–54 LFA President's Cup 1953–54 Dublin City Cup, 1954–55 League of Ireland, 1955–56 Dublin City Cup, 1955–56 LFA President's Cup, 1955–56 League of Ireland, 1959 FAI Cup, 1961 FAI Cup|
- stpatsfc.com (2007). "Board Appointments at St Patrick's Athletic FC". stpatsfc.com. Retrieved 20 June 2007. External link in
- "Valletta 0–1 St Patrick's Athletic (Agg 1–2)". rte.ie. rte. 30 July 2009.
- "Krylya Sovetov 3–2 St Patrick's Ath (Agg 3–3)". rte.ie. rte. 6 August 2009.
- "St Patrick's Ath 1–2 Steaua Bucharest (Agg 1–5)". rte.ie. rte. 27 August 2009.
- "St Patrick's Athletic 5–1 Shamrock Rovers". RTÉ News. 6 April 2012.
- "Super St Patrick's Athletic jumping for joy with league title". Irish Independent. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Month-by-month: How St Pat's won the Premier Division title". The Score. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Two-goal hero Fagan delighted to break Cup hoodoo". RTE Sport. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "St. Patrick's Athletic win the FAI Cup after a 53 year wait". Extra Time. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Shed End Invincibles – Official Website".
- "Bunk From The Wire Is A Huge St Pats Fan". balls.ie. 24 March 2013.
- "The Harry Boland Hall of Fame". stpatsfc.com. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- "Ireland - List of Topscorers". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 6 July 2016.