There’s a huge match for the Finn Harps senior team on Friday night against St. Patrick’s Athletic (kick-off 8.00) but it will also be a very special occasion for past players and managers. A number of the players who featured on the first ever Finn Harps team to play in the League of Ireland on the 17th of August 1969 will be in attendance along with others who donned the club colours at different times over the past five decades.
Richie Kelly was a member of that 1969 side and he’s looking forward to Friday night’s game which will bring back memories of the first game against Shamrock Rovers at Finn Park 50 years. “I’m really looking forward to Friday night. There will be one or two players there that I haven’s seen in a long time so that’s going to be special. And I know that there are going to be players there. from right through the last 50 years. Everyone of them has played their part in keeping Finn Harps afloat in the League of Ireland so it’s great now that we will have that opportunity to be together on Friday night. The other thing that is very important is that this is a very big match for the present Harps team against St. Pat’s. So it would be really great to see a big crowd at Finn Park because I know they don’t have a home game again until early October.” Richie said.
Looking to the future the Killea native said it’s vital that Harps prosper for the good of Donegal football. “We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary but it’s very important now for Finn Harps Football Club to prosper into the future. I have to say that the job Ollie Horgan and Paul Hegarty is doing with the team is a great credit to them. The have come up with that rally of big results recently which leaves Harps well positioned to get into the play-offs. And I certainly think they can survive in the Premier Division” Richie said.
Harps Secretary John Campbell has again extended an open invitation on behalf of the Club to all past players and managers to come along and be part of Friday night’s special 50th celebrations and lend their support to Ollie Horgan’s side who have been battling against the odds to keep Premier Division football in Donegal. “We’re now 50 years in the League of Ireland and every player that has worn the Harps jersey from 1969 to the present squad has played their part in that achievement. So we would be delighted to see as many of those players and the managers who gave such commitment to Finn Harps to join us for a very special occasion. It’s also an opportunity for them to see the really great effort being put in by the present day players in a very challenging environment. This is a very big match for us against Pat’s and its our first home game in five weeks and we’re not back in Finn Park again for another month” Mr Campbell said.
Finn Harps F.C. wish to confirm that a number of players from the Club’s first season in the League of Ireland in 1969 will be in attendance at the St Patrick’s Athletic game on Friday night in Ballybofey (kick-off 8pm). Among those in attendance will be Sean Coyle, Charlie Ferry, John Young, Brendan Bradley, Jimmy Nicholl, Colm Norris, Jimmy Barclay, Jimmy Doherty and Richie Kelly. They will be joined by other past Harps players and managers who have worn the Club’s colours over the past 50 years.
Among who will be there include Liam ‘Roper’ McDermott, Kenny Harkin, John McElwaine, Mickey O’Kane, Eddie McGinley, Mickey Ferry, the Kelly brothers Danny and Johnny, the McLaughlin brothers Con and Liam and Colm McGonagle.
All are asked to make their way on to the pitch when the half-time whistle goes on Friday night when they will be presented to the crowd and be available for photo opportunities. Different age groups from the Finn Harps Academy will also be guests on the pitch during the half-time interval.