Tony O’Neill – coach of Shamrock Rovers visits St. Pius X G.N.S with the FAI Cup

Shamrock Rovers coach Tony O`Neill, came into our school on Tuesday the 17th of December 2019.

Tony went around to all the classes in St. Pius X G.N.S. with the FAI cup they won at the final which was held in the Aviva Stadium against Dundalk on the 3rd of November 2019. The score was 1-1 but it then went to penalties and Shamrock Rovers won 4-2 with Gary O’Neil scoring the winning goal.

They have won the league 17 times and that was there 25th time winning the cup after a long awaited 33 years, which is the most times a team in the league of Ireland has ever won it.

When he came into the classes we asked him some questions.

Holly Dixon’s grandad used to play for Shamrock Rovers in 1941. We asked Tony if he knew Holly’s grandad, Billy.  He said he did and he called Billy a legend!

Holly and Rebecca Cleary got to hold the cup and get a picture with Tony.

At the end Tony gave us posters with different pictures of the Shamrock Rover Team when they won the cup.

Shamrock Rovers was established in 1899. The manager is Stephen Bradley and the assistant manager is Glen Cronin. Some of Shamrock Rovers players include: Jack Byrne, Ronan Finn, Roberto Lopes and the goalkeeper Alan Mannus. Rovers used to play in Miltown, but from 1987-2002 they didn’t have a home ground. Their home ground is Tallaght Stadium which holds approximately 8,000 people.

Shamrock Rovers came 2nd in the league to Dundalk- the team they beat in the final. The FAI Cup Final was attended by around 40,000 people and the atmosphere was electric. After Rovers scoring in the last 10 minutes of the game the fans thought that they were set for victory but unfortunately Dundalk scored only minutes after.

Billy Dixon – the grandfather of Holly Dixon, began his career at home farm F.C and after playing Waterford United F.C., he signed for Drumcondra F.C. where he made his debut in a 5-5 draw. He won a lot of honors in 1960’s Leinster senior cup. He played as a forward.

Jack Wilson (who is the grandad of Rebecca Cleary, a girl in 6th Class) was the president of the club from 2002-2009, when he passed away. Jack Wilson set up the Shamrock Rovers 400 club in 2002 and he dedicated his presidency to getting a home ground for Rovers.   He sadly passed away two months before they played there.   However, he had been given the very first ticket to the ground with his name and 001 on it, which Rebecca’s family now treasure.

We all loved seeing the cup in reality and a great day was had by all.  Thanks Tony!