Monday 14 October 2019

It's a presidential salute for Rovers

Michael D. guest of honour as Rovers celebrates 90th year

Jessica Farry

President Michael D. Higgins received a warm welcome when he attended The Showgrounds as guest of honour at the club's 90th birthday celebrations last Saturday night.

And, the Presidential visit coincided with the only the club's second league win at home this season, the 2-1 win over Bray Wanderers ensuring The Bit O'Red, who wore a specially commissioned jersey, would be playing Premier Division football again next season.

A regular at League of Ireland games, even throughout his presidency, Michael D and his wife Sabina were given a reception by Sligo Rovers committee members, the Sligo Rovers Heritage Group and local dignitaries.

He wasn't the only presidential candidate present at Rovers' victory over relegated Bray Wanderers, with Peter Casey also in attendance.

Children of all ages were excitedly trying to push their way through crowds to get a glimpse of the President, while Rovers stalwart Raffaele Cretaro was one of many who ensured he got his photograph taken with the lifelong supporter of Galway United, where Raff once plied his trade.

President Higgins wasn't the only special guest invited along to The Showgrounds on Saturday evening, with a number of past players also among the crowd of 2,347.

An open invitation was issued to all past players who had played at least one game for the club, with legends such as Tony Fagan and Joseph Ndo honoured on the night.

There was free entry for children under the age of 12, while secondary school children only had to pay €5 in. Joe Martyn, a lifelong fan and who is older than the club at 93 years, was unable to attend due to family commitments but told The Sligo Champion that he hopes to be there for the club's 100th anniversary celebrations in ten years time.

Sligo Champion