herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Shelbourne history traced in new book

Christopher Sands
Christopher Sands

A new book tracing the history of Shelbourne FC tells the story of one of Dublin's oldest football clubs from its roots on the southside to its current home in Tolka Park.

Shels, a Grand Old Team to Know: A history of Shelbourne Football Club since 1895 was written by lifetime fan and club historian Christopher Sands.

Mr Sands (78), who grew up near Holles Street, told the Herald he was "born into" the club and has attended matches since he was only three.

The idea for the book was born when he began writing articles for the club's programmes. The wealth of knowledge he needed to complete a history of Shels was helped greatly by Frank Martin, who worked on the club's archives.

"He had the bones of the whole thing, he put the structure in place and I added the meat to it," said Mr Sands.

"Probably no other club has the amount of detail that we have."

Given Shelbourne's roots south of the Liffey, the book was launched twice - in Tolka Park where former players were invited and in Pearse Street Library to honour the wealth of support in that area.

A number of past players who made a significant contribution to the club are also honoured in the book.

"I'm very happy with it and the response has been very good," said Mr Sands.

The book has also been recognised by President Michael D Higgins, who invited the author and his family to a reception in the Aras an Uachtarain, where they discussed their shared love of the game.

The book is priced at €20 and can be bought from the club shop at Tolka Park or online on the club website at www.shelbournefc.ie

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