Ballina Town FC in Co. Mayo

Club History

On the 8th of December 1961, a group of enthusiasts of 'The Beautiful Game' assembled in Geraghty's public house in Ballina and decided to form St Patrick's FC. They chose this name as most of the players were going to come from that part of the town. However, within six months they changed the name to Ballina Town, in recognition of the fact that by then the club was drawing its members from every part of Ballina. Locally the club is referred to as 'The Town'.

The men who assembled on that historic evening were: G Moore, M Hickey, G Molloy, E Curley, J Geraghty, J Heffernan, B McHale, P Flynn, J Cunningham, P Moore, G Keegan, P O'Hora, TV Lowther, F Moore, J Flynn.

The officers elected were: President - G Molloy Vice-Presidents - E Curley and J Geraghty Chairman - G Moore Secretary - P Flynn Treasurer - M Hickey.

The committee decided at its next meeting that the club colours should be light blue shirts and white shorts, although royal blue and white shirts are used now. Once the news spread that a football club was now in existence in Ballina, dozens of would-be players flocked to join it.

Belleek Park

From the start the games were played at Belleek Park, which is still the club's ground to the present day. Belleek Park consists of two playing pitches, which are amongst the finest playing surfaces in Connacht.

Thanks mainly to Irish National Lottery funding, work commenced in 2004 on new changing rooms at Belleek Park. This development was used for the first time in February 2006. The clubhouse was officially opened by John Delaney, CEO of the FAI on July 21st 2008.

Club's First Season

Here are the names of those players who formed the panel for the club's first season of 1961/1962: V Robinson, G Keegan, P O'Hora, F Moore, T Battle, P Derwin, D Lacken, P J Loftus, F Kegan, B McHale, J McGonagle, M Robinson, T O'Boyle, M O'Boyle, B Reape, K Scanlon, N Gallagher, M Bourke, P Gaughan, A Munnelly, P Ormsby, S Bourke, P Moore, J Gibbs, L O'Connell, B O'Keefe, J Lacken, M Murphy, P Conway, A Doherty, J Galvin, B Devers, V Murtagh, J Rogan, V Basquill, J Nicholson, J Timlin, J Durkan, J Dolan, C Moane, C O'Connell, N Armstrong, J Heffernan, J Coen, J Mongan, P Cunningham, J Moran, M Walkin and V Wherley.

FAI Senior Cup

One of the greatest days in the club's history was the occasion in March 1990, when Shelbourne came to play the Town in the 1st round of the FAI Cup. The Town were defeated 0 - 4 by Shelbourne but, in so doing, they became the first club from County Mayo to play in the First Round of the FAI Senior Cup.

Success

Ballina Town has a number of teams from U-8s up to Junior and this dedication to youth development and encouragement has seen four players gain football scholarships to universities in America. Other noteworthy ex-players include Noel Melvin, who went on to play for League of Ireland sides Monaghan United and Dundalk, and former coach, Leo Tierney, who won a Junior International Cap, when he played in goal for 'The Town'.

Ross Kenny was selected on the Irish U-12 panel in 2003 for the Danone Nations Cup in Paris and David Cawley was selected onto the Ireland U-15 team in 2005 for two friendlies against The Netherlands. David also played against Slovenia in 2006 and in December of that year, he signed a contract with English Championship side, Ipswich Town, going on to join them in August 2007.