With rain and dampness providing an unwelcome backdrop to the Emily Square market on Tuesday last my thoughts turned to past sunny days when footballing matters held my interest. I was prompted to do so after a meeting with Hugh Moran, a native of Athy who emigrated to England over 50 years ago. Hugh called on me on his first visit back to Athy in over half a century and talked to me of his footballing days with Athy and the Army team on the Curragh. He recalled many of his teammates on the Athy team and a week or so later I received a photograph of the Athy senior team on which Hugh featured in the late 1950s. The exact date when the photograph was taken and indeed the occasion are not known to me. However, I am fairly confident that many of you will be able to recall all of those details as well as naming the players, officials and supporters captured forever on film over 50 years ago. I would be delighted to hear from you.
The other photograph featured this week is of the Kildare senior team togged out to play Louth in the Leinster semi-final at Croke Park in 1957. It features Danny Flood and Paddy Wright, Athy’s only representatives on that team. Paddy told me that it was his first time on the Kildare seniors but the records show otherwise. The match against Louth who went on to win the All Ireland that year was played on the 16th of June and Peadar Smith, then living in St. Patrick’s Avenue and working in the Asbestos Factory, played for the ‘wee County’. It was Paddy Wright’s second match with the Kildare seniors as four weeks earlier he had togged out against Offaly in a game played in Portlaoise. He played a few more matches for his native County and on the team in his final game for County Kildare were fellow Athy men Danny Flood and Brendan Kehoe. The Kildare senior team photographed in June 1957 was as follows, from left to right at back Tos McCarthy, Tom Connolly, Paddy O’Loughlin, J. Byrne, Des Marron, Micko Doyle, Danny Flood and Paddy Moore. In the front row from left were Seamus Aldridge, Michael Bohane, Eddie Hogan, Paddy Wright, Paddy Gibbons, Seamus Harrison and Paddy Feeley (Captain).