Heary signs off in style with a little help from old friends
HIS former team-mates travelled from afar to salute the contribution of Owen Heary for yesterday's tribute game at Dalymount Park.
The League of Ireland stalwart played a half each for Shelbourne and Bohemians, the two clubs he spent most of career with, and drew the biggest cheer from the crowd of 1,044 late on by scoring a cracker – in Bohs colours – from all of 45 yards.
Patrolling the sideline were the two most influential managers on his development, Pat Fenlon and Dermot Keely, while the Jason Byrne-Glen Crowe striking axis that helped him clinch most of his league medals was back on show, albeit for opposite teams.
The line-ups spanned many decades, with Fred Davis – caught out by Heary's audacious lob – and PFAI Player of the Year Killian Brennan, who got the Gypsies rout under way after four minutes, bookending the generations.
"Between this game and the function we held on Saturday night, it's been an enjoyable weekend," said Heary.
This week marks the 20th anniversary of Heary's entrance into the league as a 17-year-old rookie for Kilkenny City, but he intends sticking around the scene.
Fresh from keeping Bohemians in the top flight last term, he has agreed to stay on as manager – his application for the required UEFA Pro-licence course will be submitted to the FAI by the end of the month.
He has already been hard at work, re-signing 11 of the squad, and targets are being pursued, chief among them former Dalymount favourite Byrne.
"I've met Jason a few times about signing and he knows I'd love to bring him back here," said Heary.
"We need someone to hit the net and he's the man I want.
"Bobby Brown will be helping me out with the squad too.
"It's not a case of 'thanks very much for last season and goodbye'. I'm not like that."
His peers who turned out yesterday can certainly vouch for that.