I am grateful to my Dad for many things and supporting Shelbourne F.C. is one of them.
The first time I actually saw Shels play was on Sunday December 3rd 1978 at Tolka Park against Shamrock Rovers. It was bitingly cold that day and the score was 0-0. In truth it was a really dreadful game. But most of the games I had seen up to then were on television. That day in 1978 I witnessed the real thing, more passionate, more enduring than any television images of Mario Kempes, Kenny Dalglish or Kevin Keegan. I was hooked.
More than thirty years later I still go to Tolka Park. My Father still comes too. It is not always easy to be a Shels supporter. The Reds have had a higher proportion of tragedies than Eastenders, Coronation Street and Fair City put together. We have had good times too, thirteen League titles, seven FAI Cups and countless European adventures. Shels has worked wonders for my European geographical awareness.