Journalist, broadcaster, and Longford Town fan Eamonn Donohoe flew home to Ireland for the opening game of the 2017 League of Ireland season to watch his side take on Shelbourne. And he captured it on camera.
“When my alarm went off at 5am (after not getting much sleep due to a perpetually-waking two-year-old) I wondered: “Why would you do this?” And on a day I’d taken annual leave?”
“Getting a flight to go and watch Longford Town – it was like being in Europe. Though with our European record being what it is, I hoped it would be nothing like seeing Longford Town in Europe.”
“New season’s kit, all hung up, clean and fresh – like our football season dreams – will ultimately end up crumpled and tattered – much like our football season dreams.”
“Is there anything as thrilling as the first glimpse of floodlights?”
“€15 in? A bit steep for a First Division game? Maybe with talk of a boycott by Shels fans regarding the move to Dalymount, everyone else has to make up the difference.”
“Time for waiting is over…”
“Despite the boycott, some Shels fans came and made themselves heard, for the first half at least.”
“I’ve been in that gantry quite a few times. The most memorable was when working on TV3’s Eircom League Weekly in 2007, a late Dave Mooney goal saw Longford beat Shamrock Rovers. It took Town to within a point of Waterford in the battle to avoid the drop. That day, Longford turned down a bid from Southend United for Mooney. A decade on, he now does play for Southend and Longford and Waterford are in the First Division. Maybe it’s all preordained.”
“Longford Town fans were in good voice though.”
“It was cold, we missed a penalty to drop points, I was up early and at the start I asked a question: “Why would you do this?” when the question really is “Why would you not?”
Eamonn Donohoe is a journalist, broadcaster and award-winning television producer. He is also the author of Cabra Cadabra, a comedy tale about two months in the lives of two Bohemians fans, who have more issues than just football. You can purchase a copy here.