Competition: League of Ireland Championship
Date: Sunday 25th January 1970
Programme description: Programme cover, which remained standard for nearly all home games, was split into half blue / half white by a diagonal line from the top right hand corner to the bottom left half corner. Inside there was an editorial, a welcome to the visitors and a look ahead to the FAI Cup game against Dundalk. Amazingly, when one thinks of programmes of the present day, there was no page dedicated to the Manager, Patsy McGowan, which was similar in a lot of the issues that season.
Programme size: 22cm (H) x 14cm (W)
Number of pages: 16
Harps produced a programme for all home games in their first season in senior football, and all were similar to this issue in layout and number of pages. However, the first edition of the programme for game against Shamrock Rovers had twice as many pages and also the last game of the season against Waterford had a four page “World Cup Special”.
The edition which we look at tonight was for the game against Drogheda in January 1970. In the Editorial, much of it is given over to the “Turnstile Saga” that was causing a problem for the club in their early days. It pointed out “as you have seen from the papers the ‘Turnstile Sage’ still continues. It appears every effort is being made to make life difficult for us in the League of Ireland. Granted our facilities here at Finn Park are not of the same standard as Dalymount, Milltown, Tolka Park and others, but surely when we are in existence as long as these clubs we should have something to offer facility-wise too. I fail to understand why this continuous interference from people who should, with the interests of the club at heart, be more than satisfied with our efforts to date.”
The editorial, which ran to two pages, ended with a plea to the other clubs in the League of Ireland. “All we ask for in Finn Park is fair play both on and off the pitch, not a lot to ask for a club in it’s first year in senior football. We appeal to our fellow members of the League, and to the League to stop knocking us and let us get on with the job.”
There was a small piece welcoming Drogheda to Finn Park, while the middle two pages of the programme were taken up with the team line-ups and also ads. It is interesting to note that the Golden Goal competition that week had prizes of £15 and £2 10s.
A page of the programme was given over to a profile of a player, and in this edition it was 22 year old Sean Coyle who featured. “Sean is know to us all as the ‘Twin’, his brother Kieran is reckoned to be a future Finn Harps player,” said the article.
The league table showed that Harps were sitting in sixth place, on 19 points, five points behind the leaders Waterford.
Harps’ next game would be a home game against Dundalk in the FAI Cup. “Dare we dream of the appearance of Finn Harps in the record books on Cup Final day?” was the questioned posed in the programme. The editor said that “when I asked Patsy McGowan how he felt having drawn Dundalk he replied: ‘I wonder how Dundalk feel about it. We have met them twice this season. You know the results.”
The programme ended on the same theme as it started - the turnstiles. The editor, in completing his look ahead to the Cup game with Dundalk said that “I have been requested by the club to appeal to supporters to come as early as possible to this game. Remember, we are not allowed gates without turnstiles. We have only got seven, so assuming we take 1000 through a stile in half an hour it would represent a crowd of 7000. We expect more, so give us every chance. Anyone who can possibly come before 3pm should do so.” If only to have problems like that nowadays?
FOR THE RECORD: The game finished in a 1-1 draw, with Paddy McGrory scoring the Harps goal. The Harps team against Drogheda that day was: Young, Doherty, Kelly, Nicholl, McGarrigle, McDermott, Norris, Coyle, Bradley, McGrory, and Wright. Substitute was Barclay who replaced Coyle.