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Dublin: 6°C Sunday 28 February 2021

Street signs, a walk to Finglas and a bunch of dockers - the beginnings of Shelbourne FC

Chris Sands has been following the Reds for almost 80 years and wrote the book on one of the league’s most colourful clubs.


IN THE YEAR 1940, a three-year-old Chris Sands from Pearse St in Dublin, was brought to watch Shelbourne FC play for the very first time. 

At the time, the Reds played in Shelbourne Park, now better known as a dog track in the Ringsend area of the capital. 

In the almost 80 years since, Sands has followed the ups and downs of the ‘Dockers’ club keenly, from watching his hero Eddie Gannon playing in the 40s and 50s, to the club’s more recent European days. 

In 2015, he released a book on the club he’s followed his entire life, Shels: A Grand Old Team To Know, which chronicles the club’s history from foundation to present day. 

The origins of the club’s name, the secretary who was the driving force behind the club’s foundation and all the legendary players of the last almost 125 years of history are covered in the book.

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Having such a knowledge and a memory of the club’s history makes the good days in red even more enjoyable.

“That’s part of the struggle. Some clubs might have it too easy. We never had.”

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About the author:

Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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