Wednesday 22 February 2017

Where are they now?

Published 16/10/2011 | 05:00

HARRY McLOUGHLIN

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(Former Sligo Rovers player)

When Sligo Rovers won the FAI Cup in 1983, they were having a bad season. Winger Harry McLoughlin had been out for most of it and had only returned for the start of the Cup campaign.

Rovers qualified for the final against Bohemians and travelled to Dalymount Park as underdogs. The game was played on Easter Sunday in terrible conditions and even though McLoughlin scored the winning goal, the extent of the achievement didn't sink in with him until the team got home the following day.

"When we got back to Sligo on the Monday night there was a big crowd waiting for us," he recalls.

"It wasn't until then that I realised what it meant to the supporters and how big the win was.

"It was the first time the Cup had ever come back with us so it was very special. There was a big homecoming in the town. I'll never forget it."

McLoughlin started off his football career with the boys' club in Sligo. He progressed through the ranks and joined the senior set-up in 1977, making his League of Ireland debut away to Shamrock Rovers in Glenmalure Park. During his career with Sligo he made 315 appearances and scored almost 50 goals.

And although he finished off his career with brief spells at Longford Town and Finn Harps, Sligo will always be his club and he is very proud of what they have achieved.

"I think the future looks bright for Sligo. They are one of the best equipped teams in the League along with Shamrock Rovers. The way the club is run is very impressive. It's by the book.

"A committee went in there and made a plan and decided they were not going to break from it. They set themselves a level when it came to things like wages and stuck to it. The ground in Sligo is state of the art, they have everything they need there."

McLoughlin lives in Collooney. He moved there 35 years ago when he got married and he works in Sligo General Hospital.

Today his former team take on Bohemians in the FAI Cup semi-final and McLoughlin thinks they will have the edge.

"Paul Cooke and his assistants have them playing great football," he says.

"It's great to see and I think Sligo will do it -- they deserve something because of the way they have been playing football."

Sunday Indo Sport

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