herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Pele and Bob Marley both played at Dalyer

Pele at Dalymount in 1972
Pele at Dalymount in 1972
Bob Marley at Dalymount

It started it's football days more than a century ago under the local name 'Pisser Dignam's Field'.

It went on to host to the only ever Irish game played by Brazilian World Cup legend Pele.

Now a new page in the history of Dalymount Park is about to be written with the famous stadium on the verge of being taken over by Dublin City Council.

Originally common land with a large vegetable plot, it was taken over by Bohemians FC who hosted its first game there on September 7, 1901.

That clash was between Bohs and Shelbourne in front of a crowd of 5,000 and the honour of scoring the first goal went to Harold Sloan in a 4-2 win for Bohs.

The playing pitch was only separated from the spectators by a rope, and a tent at one end served as the dressing rooms.

The ground saw the international debuts of Irish football legends like Johnny Giles, Liam Brady, and Denis Irwin.

But the biggest name to play the stadium was Pele, the man regarded by many as the greatest soccer player ever.

Dallier6.jpg
Bob Marley at Dalymount

Bob Marley at Dalymount

He visited with his club side Santos in 1972 to play a selection from League of Ireland sides including Bohs.

Affectionately known as 'Dalyer' by fans, the stadium is historically seen as the home of Irish football. It has hosted many Irish internationals and FAI Cup finals, UEFA Champions League qualifiers, and UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup matches.

Bohemians replaced the 90-year-old wooden main stand with a modern structure known as the Jodi Stand in 1999.

The floodlights at Dalymount once stood at Arsenal's old stadium at Highbury. They were shipped to Dublin in 1962.

The stadium has also played host to concerts, most famously in 1980 when reggae artist Bob Marley performed for thousands of fans.

The home of Shelbourne FC, Tolka Park - which also forms part of Dublin City Conucil's plans - opened in 1953.

It has hosted national cup finals along with international matches, Champions League qualifiers, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup ties and was a venue for the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

It was originally home to Drumcondra, which was one of the most popular teams in the 1950s and 1960s before it merged with Home Farm.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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