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1926- 1935 The Early Years

The Early Years - The Rolestown Club

There had been no football team in Rolestown since the team that broke up in the early 1900's. In 1926 it was decided to start a football team in Rolestown again, as there was a number of young lads in the area. 

Tommie Thompson (who worked in Griffins) and Kit Nugent (who had played for Finns, and was now living in the old barracks in Rolestown), were mainly responsible for setting up the team. The first meeting was held outside the Lawn Gates. The Committee were Kit Nugent (Bull), Benny Cassidy, Tommie Thompson, Willie Baker, Tommie Ryan, Jim Crinnigen, Tommy Murtagh, Whack Clinton, Pat Kettle (Red Pat). Pat Kettle (Black Pat) was Secretary until he went away to sea later that year. The lads collected and presented him with a gold pocket watch before he went. Pat Kettle (Red Pat) was delegate to the North County League. The meetings were held in Essex Street every Monday night. Phelam Lawless and Mickey O'Brien were delegates to the Fingal Board. The meetings were held in Malahide every Monday night. 

The lads practised in the field behind Delaneys. Griffins lawn then became the practise field. 
The first match that the played was a friendly against Fingallians. It was played on the Rathbeale Road, in a field that is now owned by Noel Garrigan. It was a close match which Fingallians won. For a while the Rolestown club had no gear and played in nail boots.

The Black and White Jerseys

Tom and Stephen Griffin cam home from St. Joseph's College, Roscrea, and brought with them two blacka dn white striped jerseys belonging to the college. The club collected and bought 13 more black and white jerseys to make up a set. From that day onward the Rolestown football team have always worn the black and white striped jerseys. 

Very soon after forming, the Rolestown club played a friendly match against Erins Isle at the Watery Lane in Finglas. The team on that day was:- 

Billy Kavanagh 

Pat KettleKit Nugent(Red)Pat Kettle

Mickey O'BrienForty HowardJim Crinnigen

Stephen GriffinTom Griffin

Willie DonnellyLarry HartfordPhelam Lawless

Willie CrinnigenJim LongTommie White

The Rolestown team were knicknamed The Magpies because of their black and white jerseys. The team also became known locally as "The Farmers Team", because many of the players came from farming families like the Griffins, the Kettles, the Longs and the Lawlesses. They held their meetings in Rolestown School. The pitch was Griffins 7 acres, There were no markings on the pitch. 

The Rolestown team cycled to some matches. They hired Wheeler O'Brien from Garriston to bring them to distant matches in a lorry. They then hired "Slaughters" lorry from Balbriggan to bring them to ther matches. 

The club won the North County League and the Fingal League, but after 5 years the club broke up and the players went to different clubs. Tom Griffin and (Red) Pat Kettle went to Fingallians, many of the others joined the Wild Geese Club in Oldtown. 

The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese have to be included in the life story of the Rolestown Club, as many Rolestown men were active Wild Geese players. Fr. Lennon, a priest in Oldtown, was responsible for starting the club. Their pitch was Jim Hugh's field at the back of Halpin's house. The majority of the Wild Geese were from Rolestown and Ballyboughal. The team included Billy Kavanagh, Paul Walsh, Stephen Griffin (Captain), Johnny and Larry Hartford, Vincent Callan, J. Clinton (Clonalvy), John Joe Fanning (Ardcath), Tom and Terry White, Malachy and Willie Griffin. The Wid Geese beat Donabate in the final of the Feis Cup in Swords. They ran a senior and junior tournament. Donaghmore won the senior one and Pioneers (Balbriggan) beat St. Pats in the junior one. 

A dispute arose between the players from Ballyboughal and the rest of the team. They held a challenge match at the back of Halpins to see which side would et the black and amber jerseys. The Ballyboughal side were beaten by a point. The Wild Geese retained the jerseys and Ballyboughal started their own team. Shortly after this the Wild Geese broke up and the Rolestown lads came back to Rolestown to set up their own team. 

The Pitches

The first practice field of the Rolestown team was "The Bottoms", a field along the river at the back of Delaneys. Griffin's Lawn then became their practise field. Griffin's 7 Acres was the pitch. Kettles' 13 acres (the field when Kettles Hotel now stands) then became the pitch. There was a pitch on each side of the road near (Red) Pat Kettle's house. Then the pitch was shifted to Griffin's 4 Acres, which is the present day pitch.

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