Saturday 17 August 2019

Jimmy Dainty was a star of the 'Seventies

Francis Carroll

The death of Jimmy Dainty at the age of 65 severs another link with the famous Dundalk teams of the 'Seventies managed by Jim McLaughlin.

Dainty is regarded as one of the most exciting players to figure with The Lilywhites.

He played more than 220 games for the club between September, 1973 and April, 1980, winning every domestic honour as well as having a crucial role in Dundalk's fabled European exploits. He was also a regular visitor to the town when his playing days were over.

Dainty was signed from Wallsall by manager John Smith. He made his debut in a 4-3 League Cup defeat to Shamrock Rovers in Milltown.

When McLaughlin took over as player-manager in October, 1974, Jimmy was instrumental in securing the services of his cousin, goalkeeper Richie Blackmore.

In the 1975/'76 season he was pivotal in bringing the League of Ireland title to Oriel Park for the first time in nine years.

More success followed in the 1977 FAI Cup final against Limerick and in the 1978 League Cup final against Cork Alberts.

However, the great team of that era is best-remembered for completing the double in the 1978/'79 campaign.

The league was secured with a 3-0 win away to Cork Celtic, then Waterford were eclipsed 2-0 in the Cup final.

In the European Cup Dundalk overcame Linfield and Malta Hibernians before being paired with Glasgow Celtic in the second round.

Dainty had departed Oriel in the close season, and despite not playing since the Cup final, was persuaded to come back for the first leg tie in Parkhead.

Celtic led after four minutes and were ahead 3-1 at the break. Winger Dainty set up Cathal Muckian for his side's goal.

In one of Dundalk's greatest European performances, substitute Mick Lawlor scored a great goal and it finished 3-2.

Seventeen-thousand supporters jammed Oriel Park for the 2nd leg, and suffered heart-break as their heroes squandered a great chance to eliminate the Hoops, who went on to face Real Madrid.

Jimmy Dainty will be sadly missed by Dundalk fans of that golden era.

The Argus