Saturday 20 October 2018

Punches were flying at Lourdes Stadium melee

I CAME across this story from the 1970s and what a day it was in the Stadium - I'm sure many recall it.

Trouble flared after incidents on the field in a game at the Lourdes Stadium between the local side and Cork Hibernians.

Stones and pennies flew as the Hibernian players left the field. Drogheda Supporters Club chairman, Mr. Mick Kirwan, was struck in the eye by a stone and later was treated in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

One of the Drogheda players, Ray Keogh, was carried into the dressingroom after being kicked in the leg in the melee. At least three other people were slightly injured.

Trouble started when Drogheda defender Christy Lougheed, and Cork Hibernian' English centre-forward, David Wigginton, clashed as the ball was at the other end of the field.

Dublin referee Paddy Graham took both players 'names and then called together the captains, Mick Meagan and Noel O'Mahony, asking them to cool their players down.

There was no further trouble on the field, but as the terms left the pitch, the Cork Hibernian players surrounded Wigginington, apparently expecting trouble.

Fists flew as about 20 people faced the Hibernian players.

The footballers had to run a gauntlet of punches to the pavillion.

Drogheda players and officials tried to protect the attacked men and eventually managed to get them inside the dressingroom.

There were no Gardai on duty at the grounds, but the Drogheda officials called them in. The crowd was angry and players and officials had to stay inside for about 45 minutes.

Then Drogheda player-manager, Mick Meagan left the dressingroom and addressed the crowd. The future of Droghedca soccer was at stake, he said, and 'we could pay dearly for 10 minutes of silly actions here today.''

He appealed to the crowd to go home quietly.

The appeal was effective and Gardai escorted the Cork players and officials to their coach 50 yards from the grounds.

A Garda patrol car escorted the coach out of town.

Drogheda Independent