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Wednesday 13 December 2017

From Philadelphia to Croke Park – Kickhams' biggest fan is back in town

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

THEY'VE been dreaming in red and green for over 50 years – but they've never had more of a reason than now.

And while they might be a small club, dwarfed by near rivals Na Fianna, the Ballymun Kickhams have shown just what an underdog with a dream can do by making it to the All- Ireland club football final.

Having beaten Killarney's Dr Crokes last month, Kickhams have gone further than ever before – reinvigorating a club that had last enjoyed glory days in the 1970s and 1980s.

They are keeping their fingers crossed that players such as Dean Rock – son of Dublin legend Barney – Ted Furman and Johnny Buckley can propel the club to the ultimate victory of winning the All-Ireland Senior Club Football final.

The build-up to their Croke Park appearance against St Brigid's, Roscommon tomorrow has electrified locals, with flags and bunting flapping in the wind.

Car horns beeped as fans posed with flags for the cameras and it was clear the party was already in full swing.

"I never thought I'd see the day, never," marvelled Dorrie Roche – a life-long Kickhams fan along with husband John.

The couple's five sons all grew up with the club and their house is festooned in the club colours.

Son Cathal is club PRO, while son Ciaran – who runs the Ballymun Kickhams website from his base in Philadelphia – was wrestling jet-lag, having flown in especially for the match.

"It (the long-haul flight) was worth it – I'm here and I wouldn't miss it for the world," he said.

Irish Independent

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