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From boasting a vegetable patch to playing host to Pele

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Pele in Dalymount Park

Pele in Dalymount Park

Pele in Dalymount Park

Dalymount Park started it's football days with the unusual moniker of Pisser Dignam's Field - basically an open piece of common ground with a vegetable patch at one end. Who Pisser Dignam was and the origins of his name are open to speculation.

The 114-year-old stadium was taken over by Bohemians FC, which hosted its first game there on September 7, 1901.

That clash was between Bohs and Shelbourne in front of a crowd of 5,000 and the honour of scoring the first goal went to Harold Sloan in a 4-2 win for Bohs. In those days the playing pitch was only separated from the spectators by a rope, and a tent at one end served as the dressing rooms for the players.

The ground saw the international debuts of players such as Liam Brady, Johnny Giles and Denis Irwin.

But the biggest name to play the stadium was Pele, the man regarded by many as the greatest soccer player ever. The Brazilian three-time World Cup legend visited with his club side Santos in 1972 to play a selection from League of Ireland sides including Bohs.

Holding many Irish internationals and FAI Cup finals. Dalymount has also hosted UEFA Champions League qualifiers, UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup matches.

The floodlights at Dalymount once stood at Arsenal's old stadium at Highbury. They were shipped to Dublin in 1962 and the inaugural floodlit match saw Arsenal beat Bohs 8-3.

Irish Independent