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Croy miners have visited Athenry every year for the Monivea Boxing Tournament but since February 1993 they have struck up an ever maturing friendship with Athenry Soccer Club. The first and third matches between the clubs took place in Athenry. Both matches were 4-4 draws and highly entertaining games. The Croy lads really enjoy their weekends in Athenry and have made Dan’s Bar their clubhouse from home. They also intend to return in October 1996.
Athenry have also travelled twice to Croy on the outskirts of Glasgow, October 1993 and May l996. On the first occasion a group of twenty five lads travelled by bus and ferry to Scotland. We were shown around Celtic‘s Ground “Park Head” and were guests of honour at a boxing tournament in Croy, where they also had a special dinner night for us. The match was played on Sunday morning and after a bright start by Athenry, who went 2-0 up, Croy won the match 5-3 but there was some joy for our team when Martin Morrissey picked up the Man of the Match award. There was also a picture of both team Captains, Robert Burns (Croy) and Terry Nolan (Athenry) with match referee, former World Boxing champion Pat Clinton in Celtic’s Official Magazine.
On the second occasion a group of thirty-two ﬂew to Glasgow from Dublin. On the Friday after arriving in Glasgow we were given a tour of Park Head by Celtic manager Tommy Burns and none other than former Irish goalkeeper Pakie Bonner. On Saturday we returned to see Celtic defeat Raith Rovers 4-l in their final game of the season. The highlight of the match for me was 36,000 supporters singing the Celtic Anthem “The Fields of Athenry”. On the Sunday a match took place between Croy and Athenry which Croy won 4-1 but Dermot Monaghan picked up Man of the Match Award. Both teams then returned to the clubhouse for dinner and a night of singing and dancing that will never be forgotten. On the Monday before returning home we visited Billy McNeill’s Bar in Glasgow. He captained Celtic to win the European Cup and managed to win a league and cup double.
I would like to thank the people of Croy and Kilsyth, Celtic Football Club and Billy McNeill for their wonderful hospitality and also thank Martin Morrissey and Willie Killeen for organising two wonderful and memorable trips to Glasgow. Roll on October 1996 and the visit of the lads from Croy, when l am sure we will hear a few bars of “The Fields” in the local drinking houses.
Yours in Sport, Terry Nolan
Note: Croy is a village in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. A former mining community, Croy is situated south of Kilsyth and north of Cumbernauld, some 13 miles from Glasgow and 37 miles from Edinburgh on the main railway line between the two cities. Croy has a population of about 1,390.Wikipedia
Written by Terry Nolan
Published here 05 Jan 2023
Croy, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
The Athenry Journal
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