Soccer teams to compete in Longford for John 'Banana' Nolan Cup

Longford Leader

Reporter:

Longford Leader

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Soccer teams to compete in Longford for John 'Banana' Nolan Cup

1998 Longford Town Team

It was one of the sporting events of the Longford Summer and there's always a huge degree of nostalgia around any discussion on the Paddy Clabby Cup soccer tournament.

Sadly the tournament is no more but the industrious Melview FC soccer club look set to fill the void and are already reporting huge interest in their 11 a side summer soccer tournament.

Open to adult teams, they will compete for the John 'Banana' Nolan Cup and the Michael Spiv Reilly Shield. Both were well known and much loved characters with a particular passion for soccer. As well as being a celebrated war hero, 'Spiv' was also the physio for Longford Town FC for many years.

Affectionately known as 'Banana', John Nolan was a well known local chef and businessman. He loved his soccer and managed several local sides in the defunct Paddy Clabby Cup series. Family and friends are delighted to see his memory perpetuated in this new series.

The entry fee for teams will be €160 and teams are limited to 16 players. Matches will be 25 minutes per half up until the semi-finals when they switch to 35 minutes per half.

The action will begin on July 10 and continues up until the finals on July 28 and all the matches will be played on the grass pitch in the Mall.

This is an important fundraiser the Mevleiw FC club, who are one of the fastest growing and most successful underage sides in the midlands.

For more information or to register your team to take part, ring 089 473 9934.

Pictured above: Michael 'Spiv Reilly' pictured on the far right back row was one of the physios for a famous Longford Town FC team in 1998 that beat Newcastlewest to secure a lucrative FAI Cup semi-final meeting with Derry City. Army Corporal Michael Malone from Athlone scored the goal that was worth £20,000 to the club. They were unlucky in the first leg of the semi final in Abbeycartron, losing 0-2 to high flying Derry and were comprehensively beaten in the second leg in front of 10,000 up at the Brandywell. Pictured back row were Padraig Igoe, assistant manager, Paul Dempsey, Christy Thompson, Micko McCormack, Jude Quigley, Gavin Drummond, Dessie Barry, Eamon Gavin and Mickael 'Spiv' Reilly with front row, Jude McGrath, physio; Johnny Morris Burke, Gerry Quigley and team mascot, Vincent Dervan, with Clive O Neill, Pat 'Zac' Hackett and Leo Devlin.