ATHENRY FC CLUB HISTORY
Athenry FC is an Irish association football club in County
Galway which was founded in 1971.The clubs most senior
teams compete in the Galway & District Leagues Premier
Division.The club is one of the biggest contributors to the
league in terms of teams entered into the Galway & District
Leagues various divisions and at all juvenile levels.
The soccer club was formed in 1971 in the Canton Hall in
Athenry. The founding members were Rev. Fr. M. Gleeson,
Tony Coffey, Michael Morrisey, David Sweeney, Richard
Mulkerrins, Henry Docherty, Sean Hynes, Frank Kilkelly, Leo Coffey, S. King and Dessie Glynn The first match was played in South Park, Galway against West United ending in a 1-1 draw with David Sweeney scoring the historical first ever goal for the newly founded club. The Athenry team on that occasion was Frank Stack, John Quinn, G. O'Dowd, Leo Coffey, Michael Morrisey, Dessie Glynn, Gerry
Docherty, Sean King, David Sweeney, Francis Kilkelly, Kieran Barrett, Patrick Flannery, Kevin
Healy, Peter Gilhooley and Gerry Connaughton.
The following is taken from the diary of Dessie Glynn one of the founding members of the club from 1971.
The entry in my diary for Wednesday 17th March,1971 reads as follows; Went to twelve mass. Played soccer in school. Talk of a soccer club being formed. Formed a Club- Henry Doherty and company. Went for walk in Moneen. The field we played in that day was the convent field. It was
where the present secondary school is now located.
Among the lads playing that day in the convent field were as follows; Henry and Gerry Doherty (Caheroyan), Pat, Francis and Michael Kilkelly (Caheroyan), Gearoid O' Dowd (Park), myself-Des Glynn (Caheroyan) , Gerry Stack (Chapel Lane), David Sweeney (Cross Street), Packie Flannery ( North Gate Street), Kieran Barrett (Caheroyan) and Tony and Leo Coffey (Caheroyan Avenue). Others who may have been there that day included Seamus Mulkerrins and Micky Gill (Caheroyan), Packie and Eugene Curley (Caheroyn Crescent/Bridge Street),Gerry Hall (The Valley) and Sean King (Mulpit).
That of course means that this is the moment, St.Patricks Day, 1971. It was decided that we wanted to form a Soccer Club in Athenry. Shortly afterwards, we arranged a meeting for the Canton Hall, where a committee and officers were elected. That is the official date of the setting up of the Athenry Soccer Club. The next reference in my diary is for a Soccer meeting in the Canton Hall on April Sunday April 3rd,1971. I remember, I cycled to Cussane to tell Peter Gillhooley about the meeting about starting a Soccer Club in Athenry. Peter, Tommy Fahy and Willie Killeen attended the first meeting in the Canton Hall.
In conversation with Tony Coffey, Caherroyn Avenue, in the Square, Athenry on 23rd January, 2008, in the company of Seamus Mulkerrins, Ard Aoibhinn, Tony (elected first Chairman of Athenry Soccer Club in 1971), said that while he was walking about the school grounds on St. Patricks Day 1971, he was approached by Henry Doherty and a group of lads, and Henry told him that they wanted to form a Soccer Club. Looking back on these events, Tony felt that there were a couple of reasons as to why he was approached by the lads. Firstly, he was more senior than them and therefore had a certain respect and, secondly, that he actually had a soccer ball which he had brought back from England the previous year. The ball being used by the lads playing that day may in fact have been his.