Ballyglass Football Club in Co. Mayo
Ballyglass Football Club was founded in 1975 and since then hundreds of players have contributed to the clubs' developement at senior and underage level, while wearing the red and white stripes with pride and dedication to their club.
The origins and foundation of the club stemmed from the foresight and enthusiasm of local returned emigrant, Michael Keaveney, whose love for the game of ‘association football’ was nurtured under the shadow of Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium. On his return to his native Ballyglass, Michael had a strong desire to do something for the youth of the area, and together with Tommy Joe Walsh and a number of others they formed a team. The first officers of the club were Chairman Tommy Joe Walsh, Treasurer Padraig Heverin and Secretary Michael Keaveney.
In the summer of 1975 Ballyglass played their first friendly against a ‘Connaught Telegraph’ selection and they continued to train hard for their first league match against Attymass, in which they scored an impressive 8-2 victory. From humble beginnings the club continued to develop into a thriving and successful organization.
In the 1980s the primary aim of the officers and club was to acquire their own playing field and this led to the club's first major fundraising project. A confined draw of 400 x£60 tickets was launched in 1988 with a car as first prize. The draw was an outstanding success and this, coupled with other generous donations and many interest free loans, enabled the club to purchase over eight acres and proceed with development.
The club grew from strength to strength and became one of the dominant clubs of the 90’s, culminating in winning the Mayo League Premier Division title in the 1990/91 season. Due to the unrivalled support of the local community and players, Ballyglass FC have enjoyed tremendous success both on and off the field in the intervening years and have delighted in many other major achievements. In August 1991, work commenced on building two full size-playing pitches, the main pitch being an all-weather facility. This was closely followed by the erection of a clubhouse with dressing rooms, bar facilities and kitchen area. A great deal of the labour for this project was carried out by various local Fas schemes and club members over a number of years.
On October 26th 1996 the club officially opened their stadium on their 21st anniversary. Then President of Ireland Mary Robinson performed the opening ceremony and other distinguished guests included the President of the Football Association Pat Quigley. The club also produced a fantastic book to celebrate 21 years of football in Ballyglass, with a detailed club history, pictures and stories.
On July 12th 2001, in his last official engagement as President of the Football Association of Ireland, Pat Quigley performed the opening ceremony of the new 289 all seater viewing stand to add to the fine facilities already in place at the club.
April 29th 2007 saw the club further extend its facilities when the new training pitch, complete with floodlights was officially opened by John Carty TD.
Ballyglass FC are a well-known club throughout the province and indeed the entire country, with club facilities that are the envy of many sporting organisations throughout Connaught.