The pictures can be seen at http://picasaweb.google.com/jorgenpfhartogs/OpStapMetMarkoMaart2007
I’ve been way to busy, traveling all over the isles. The craic was mighty but the synapses in my head were depraved of any sleep.
First of all my brother was here for 6 days and we visited Kilkenny, Wexford and Killarney. We celebrated Paddy’s day in Killarney on the day that Dr. Crokes went for the All-Ireland title against Crosmaglen (only to be held to a draw) and Ireland lost the 6 nations thanks to a very dubious French Try that never was.
Drogheda – Glentoran in the first leg of the Setanta Cup was great. It’s a great thing that loyalists from East Belfast (UVF headquarters) and Drogheda United supporters (a club once known for smuggling IRA-arms across the country) can go to the same pub and stadium in Drogheda without any problems. The Glentoran supporters were waiving loyalist, UVF and Northern-Ireland flags of course next to their Union Jacks but also a huge flag depicting Georgie Best (who was from East Belfast but was deemed not good enough for Glentoran in his younger years and therefore went to Manchester to seek fame).
The B&B in Drogheda was the filthiest one you would ever see in your entire life (were it not for a little kip in Cork where we stayed 3 years ago).
We took the first train from Drogheda at 5:50 to Dublin to fly to Leeds- Bradford.
Of course we were not checked at all in Dublin by Airport security and although I had a few 500 ml bottles of shampoo and lotion, etc with me and a knife I was not checked at all. In Fact security in Ireland looked way too relaxed to be taken seriously. Let’s hope there’s no group trying to blow up any aer lingus flights.
Like all cities in the British Midlands Leeds is a dirty, filthy city.
We had a steak and ale pie with mash, fresh veggies and especially nice ale for £5 (!!!). Really good value!
Like all cities in the British Midlands Sheffield is a dirty, filthy city.
The search for a B&B in Sheffield was long and difficult but we found a nice hotel for £60 a night.
The train to Rotherham was ever cheaper (£2.00 for a return and will take you 10 minutes).
The Rotherham United – Blackpool game was brilliant and one of the best ever.
It’s definitely a higher standard than the Irish leagues (although this was the Coca-Cola league division 1).
The game in Croke Park was good too. Ireland didn’t deserve to win but they did.
It’s a shame there were only 71.297 people attending the game, but that’s Irish soccer.
Drogheda ([drɒhədə]) or [drɔ:də]) (Droichead Átha in Irish, meaning "Bridge of the Ford") is an industrial and port town in County Louth (on the border with County Meath) on the east coast of Ireland, 56 km north of Dublin. The town is increasingly populated by commuters working in Dublin. In 2006 the population stood at 28,894 and is the 7th largest town in the Republic of Ireland.
In recent years Drogheda has been shedding its industrial image, as an increasing number of people employed in the retail, services and technology sectors have been looking to the local economy instead of Dublin for employment.
The town is located close to the site of Newgrange, a burial mound constructed around 3200 BC. A trading post and settlement existed on the site of the town from Roman times and was known as Inver Colpa. The town itself was founded in 911 by the Danes and officially chartered as a town in 1194. The Irish Parliament moved to the town in 1494 and passed Poyning's Law a year later. The town was besieged twice during the Irish Confederate Wars (see the siege of Drogheda). On the second occasion it was taken by Oliver Cromwell in September 1649, as part of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. Drogheda was the site of an infamous massacre of the Royalist defenders. The Battle of the Boyne, 1690, occurred near the town at the River Boyne.
Drogheda's coat of arms bears the star and crescent and has its origin with King Richard I (the Lionheart), in whose reign Drogheda was granted its charter in 1194 by Hugh de Lacy (after whom the de Lacy bridge in Drogheda is named). Another Norman element on Drogheda's coat of arms is its centrepiece, St. Lawrence's Gate. The three lions which flank the Norman barbican are also taken from King Richard's coat of arms. On the other side of the barbican is a ship denoting Drogheda's status as an important port. The town's motto Deus praesidium, mercatura decus translates as "God our strength, merchandise our glory".
Drogheda acquired rail links to Dublin in 1844, Navan in 1850 and Belfast in 1852. Passenger services between Drogheda and Navan were ended in 1958, however the line remained open for freight traffic. In 1966 Drogheda station was renamed "McBride".
Drogheda has a thriving arts scene; it hosts the annual Samba festival every summer, where Samba bands from around the world converge on the town for a week of drumming and parades. It is also home to the Calipo theatre company which specialises in multi-media productions and has achieved considerable success in Ireland and abroad. The town also supports one of the largest and most successful youth theatres in Ireland (Droichead Youth Theatre) which has toured to Belfast, London, Italy, and Sweden. The addition of the Little Duke Theatre company in Duke Street, in the old Julian Blinds building, adds to this scene. The Municipal Centre in Stockwell Street acts as a base for most of the town's artists, under the umbrella of the Droichead Arts Centre, and featuring a gallery space and a theatre.
The former Garda (Police) station in West Street is now a satellite site of the Droichead Arts Centre.
The original Drogheda bypass bridge over the river Boyne, known as the "Bridge of Peace", is well-known regionally for its aerosol graffiti murals. Under the bridge, there are two large concrete supports that measure approximately 8 meters high, and 20 meters long. Starting in the 1980s with the breakdance craze, these supports were painted and sprayed with murals by aerosol artists. This activity at the time was technically illegal and frowned upon by the local authorities. Today the murals are frequently updated and limited sponsorship of the artists is provided by local businesses.
Drogheda's larger bars feature live music. Notable venues are The Pheasant on Duleek Street, McPhail's in Laurence Street, and McHugh's on Cord Road. For traditional Irish music, Carberry's (Teach Uí Cairbre) pub near the North Quay has regular sessions by amateur and professional musicians alike.
October 2006 saw the opening of the town's first dedicated municipal art gallery and visual arts centre, the Highlanes Gallery, housed in the former Franciscan Friary on St. Laurence Street. The Highlanes Gallery holds Drogheda's important municipal art collection which dates from the 17th century as well as visiting exhibitions in a venue which meets key international museum and gallery standards.
With the expansion of the Irish economy in the 1990s, during the "Celtic Tiger" years, Drogheda has become one of the primary locations for people who work in Dublin to buy a house. Property prices in the capital are prohibitive for first time home buyers. With the expansion of transport infrastructure in the area around Drogheda i.e. the Swords and Balbriggan bypasses, the Boyne River Bridge and the increased number of commuter trains serving the town, Drogheda is now an attractive location for Dubliners to buy their first house and commute to work, although the town itself is unattractive and is considered to have a depressing atmosphere. The Boyne River Bridge in particular has dramatically increased the profile of the region as a location for out-of-town shopping centres.
Within the town there are currently major construction projects underway. The renovation of the former Grammar School in Laurence Street as a shopping centre is unusual as the original fascia of the building has been restored to its former Georgian architectural specifications. This centre extends to Palace Street, all along William Street, and down Peter Street on the site of the former Parochial Hall. A massive underground carpark is also present.
On the south quay in the space of the former Lakeland Daries premises, the Scotch Hall centre was completed in November 2005. A new pedestrian bridge extends from the north quay, at Mayoralty Street, into the complex.
The local economy of Drogheda, like that of many other towns in Ireland, is changing rapidly. The old industrial industries based around linen and textiles, brewing, shipping, and manufacturing have now disappeared or are in decline.
There are still a number of large employers in the town including Boyne Valley Foods, Irish Cement (Ireland's largest cement works), Drogheda Concentrates (Coca Cola), International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) and Becton Dickenson.
Drogheda offers many advantages over other towns in the region including:
Recently additions to the local ecomony include:
In December 2005 the town's soccer team, Drogheda United, won the national FAI Carlsberg Cup for the first time in its history by beating Cork City F.C. 2-0 in the final at Lansdowne Road. On Saturday 22 April 2006 Drogheda United won the Setanta Cup at Tolka Park becoming the champions of all Ireland. Drogheda United is known as "The Drogs" by their fans.
The most vocal supporters stand on "the shed side" of United Park. Many Drogs attend every home match while a smaller group travel around the country to support the team at away matches. They sing football/Drogheda United chants, wear club colours (claret and blue), wave banners and flags and generally try to help lift the team and demonstrate fervent support. The Drogs create a vivacious atmosphere during Drogheda United matches reminiscent of the activities of European Ultras.
United Park is a multi-use stadium in Drogheda, Republic of Ireland. It is currently used mostly for soccer matches and has been the home stadium of Drogheda United since 1976. The stadium holds 5,400 (400 seated and 5,000 standing).
The future of the stadium is uncertain: It occupies prime real estate in Drogheda and potential to develop the stadium is limited by surrounding residences. Proposals have been made to sell the site and build a 10,000 all seater new stadium on the outskirts of the town.
|Full name||Drogheda United Football Club|
|The Drogs or The Boynesiders|
|United Park, Drogheda,|
|5,400 (400 seats)|
|Eircom Premier League|
Drogheda United is an Irish football club playing in the Football League of Ireland. The club hails from Drogheda, Ireland and, since 1976, play their home matches at United Park. Prior to then, they played at Lourdes Stadium. Club colours are claret and blue. The current manager is Paul Doolin.
The current club is amalgamation of two former Drogheda area clubs, Drogheda United FC founded in 1919 and Drogheda FC founded in 1962. The clubs merged their operations to form the current club in 1975.
Drogheda United are the current holders of the Setanta Cup.
Winners 2005, Runner Up 1971, 1976
Runner Up 1982/83
Champions 1988/89, 90/91, 98/99, 01/02, Runner Up 1994/95, 1996/97
The Drogs played their first European football in the 83/84 season as a result of finishing runners-up in the league. They drew Tottenham Hotspur in the First Round of the UEFA Cup and were beaten 14-0 on aggregate by the eventual winners. Drogheda once again qualified for the UEFA Cup in 2005 following FAI Cup success. The introduction of professional football in 2003 and general resurgance of the League of Ireland ensured that history would not repeat itself and Drogheda would not be so heavily beaten again. Despite being unseeded in the First Qualifying Round in the 2006 UEFA Cup and drawing highly fancied Finnish outfit HJK Helsinki, Drogheda advanced on a 4-2 aggregate scoreline following two extra-time penalties in the second leg in Dalymount Park. They advanced to meet Norwegian team I.K. Start in the Second Qualifying Round and came back from a 1-0 defeat in the first leg to force extra time in Dalymount. Eventually, the tie was settled on penalty kicks, Drogheda suffering the heartbreak of elimination on a scoreline of 10-11. However, following Derry City's FAI Cup victory, it was announced that the 2nd Irish UEFA Cup spot would be granted to Drogheda, so they will compete in the competition once more in the 2007 season.
|1983/84||UEFA Cup Round 1||Tottenham Hotspur F.C.||0-14 agg.|
|2006/07||UEFA Cup Qual. Round 1||HJK Helsinki||4-2 agg.|
|2006/07||UEFA Cup Qual. Round 2||I.K. Start||1-1 agg. 10-11 (pen.)|
Nationality given from place of birth
|117,262 (2001 Census)|
|Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Yorkshire and the Humber|
|List of places|
Rotherham is a town in South Yorkshire, England, built upon the River Don near the confluence of the Don and the Rother. It lies in the Don Valley between Sheffield and Doncaster. The town is six miles from Sheffield city centre. It is the main town in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham. The population of the borough of Rotherham is 248,175, and that of the Rotherham urban sub-area 117,262.
While there were Iron Age and Roman settlements in the area now covered by the town, Rotherham itself was not founded until the Early Middle Ages. It soon established itself as a key Saxon market town, lying, as it does, on a Roman road near a forded part of the Don.
In the 1480s the Rotherham-born Archbishop of York, Thomas Rotherham, instigated the building of a college (The College of Jesus) to rival the colleges of Cambridge and Oxford. This and the stylish new parish church of All Saints made Rotherham an enviable and modern town at the turn of the 16th century. But the college was dissolved under the reign of Edward VI, its assets stripped for the crown. By the end of the 16th century, Rotherham had fallen from a fashionable college town to a notorious haven of gambling and vice. Nevertheless, the history of Thomas Rotherham and education in the town continues to be remembered in the name of Thomas Rotherham College.
The region had been exploited for iron since Roman times, but it was coal that first brought the industrial revolution to Rotherham. The seams were the driving force behind the improvements to navigation along the Don, the various cuttings eventually forming the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.
However, the iron resources were soon exploited, most notably by the Walker family, who built up something of an iron and steel empire in Rotherham. Throughout the 18th century, the Walker foundries produced high quality cannons, in addition to several early cast iron bridges, one of which was commissioned by Tom Paine. Meanwhile, Joseph Foljambe established a factory to produce his Rotherham plough, the first commercially successful iron plough. The first Rotherham glassworks was set up in 1751, and went on to become Beatson Clark & Co., one of the town's largest manufacturers, exporting glass medicine bottles worldwide. In the 19th century other successful industries included pottery, brass making and the manufacture of cast iron fireplaces.
Rotherham iron was very highly regarded for its strength. Iron, and later steel, became the principal industry in Rotherham, surviving well into the 20th century. Steel, Peech and Tozer's massive Templeborough steelworks (now the Magna Science Adventure Centre) was, at its peak, over a mile long, employing 10,000 workers, and housing six electric arc furnaces producing 1.8 million tonnes of steel a year. The operation finally closed down in 1993.
The 1800s saw a massive expansion of Rotherham's cast iron industry, starting with the opening of the Effingham Ironworks in 1820, later becoming Yates Haywood & Co. Other major ironfounders included William Corbitt and Co.; George Wright and Co. of Burton Weir; Owen and Co., of Wheathill Foundry; Morgan Macauley and Waide, of the Baths Foundry; the Masbro’ Stove Grate Co., belonging to Messrs. Perrot; W. H. Micklethwait, and John and Richard Corker, of the Ferham Works.
The Parkgate Ironworks was first established in 1823 by Sanderson and Watson, and changed ownership several times. In 1854 Samuel Beal & Co produced the cast iron armour plating for Isambard Kingdom Brunel's famous steamship the SS Great Eastern In 1864 the ironworks was taken over by the Parkgate Iron Co. Ltd, becoming the Park Gate Iron and Steel Company in 1888. The company was purchased by Tube Investments Ltd in 1956 and finally closed in 1974.
Beatson Clark & Co. was a family business until 1961, when it became a public company. The glassworks is still operating on the same site, although the family connection has ceased and the company is now owned by TT Group plc. Its main activities are still the manufacture and sale of glass containers for the pharmaceutical, food and drinks industries.
Rotherham continues to be amongst the leaders in advanced manufacturing in the UK. The Corus Engineering Steels (CES) plant in Rotherham continues to produce steel for a number of products worldwide, including Renault Formula 1 cars and the new Airbus A380 "super jumbo" aeroplane. It currently produces approximately 1.1 million tonnes of engineering steels each year.
Other precision manufacturing companies in the town include; AESSEAL, Newburgh Engineering, Precision Magnetics and Orkot Composites. Rotherham is also the location for the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).
Despite its history, Rotherham is rather short on old (secular) buildings. The only surviving timber-framed structure is the empty, dilapidated, and much altered former Three Cranes pub (16th century). In fact much of Rotherham's town centre was knocked down and modernised during the course of the 20th century.
The town centre does, however, contain one of only four bridge chapels in the country: the 15th century Chapel of Our Lady of Rotherham Bridge (or "Chapel on the Bridge") on Chantry Bridge. The chapel was restored in 1923, having spent a good period of time as a tobacconist's shop.
Other buildings of note include the 15th century Minster (formerly All Saints parish church), and the 18th century Clifton House, which now houses Clifton Park Museum.
Boston Castle, which stands in the grounds of Boston Park, was originally constructed as a hunting lodge in 1776 by Thomas, 3rd Earl of Effingham to mark his opposition to British attempts to crush the American war of independence.It is named after Boston, Massachusetts, the scene of the Boston Tea Party.
On the outskirts of Rotherham, a brick glassmaking furnace, the Catcliffe Glass Cone, is the oldest surviving structure of its type in Western Europe and one of only four remaining in the United Kingdom. Threatened with demolition in the 1960s, it has now been preserved as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and stands as a focal point in a sheltered housing complex
Beyond the town centre and away from the Don Valley, the Rotherham district is largely rural, containing a mixture of farming and mining communities as well as the large Wentworth Woodhouse estate, where the last surviving kiln of the Rockingham Pottery may still be seen.
For a large town, Rotherham has a small catchement area, lying close to Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley. The large Meadowhall shopping centre lies a couple of miles from the town centre, just over the border in Sheffield, and many leisure facilities are found near it, in the Lower Don Valley. As a result, Rotherham town centre is smaller and less busy than the centre of many other towns its size.
The town centre is undergoing a transformation known as the Rotherham Renaissance with the aim of regeneration, including apartments, major high street stores, outdoor cafes and a new theatre. This project has already started, with apartments being built on the waterfront.
The comedian Sandy Powell was born in Rotherham and the town has produced several entertainers who started on the Working men's club scene, such as Duggie Brown, brother of Coronation Street actress Lynne Perrie, Zulu 440, Paul Shane, Christopher Wolstenholme of Muse, the Chuckle Brothers, and footballer David Seaman also originated from Rotherham.
It is also a thriving haven of Classic and Progressive Rock, helped by the Classic Rock Society, and has spawned many bands, such as Deadline, Saxon, Jive Bunny, Bring Me the Horizon and This Girl. The poet and author A. R. Monday was also born in Rotherham.
Since the late 1990s Rotherham has consolidated its reputation as a popular and exciting clubbing destination. The principal clubbing area runs from the "Blu Bambu" nightclub (Now Closed) on Ship Hill down to "Liquid". Interestingly, the local police station is situated between these two locations. Rotherham is also home of Snafu Rock bar, a prime location for the Rock and Metal Community within the area.
Rotherham has a football team in the Football League One, Rotherham United, and a small second flight rugby union team, Rotherham R.U.F.C., currently playing under the name of Earth Titans. Hurdler Chris Rawlinson, Olympic silver medallist Peter Elliott and former England goalkeeper David Seaman are from Rotherham. ChampCar and ex-Formula 1 driver Justin Wilson is from Woodall, which is in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham.
Rotherham is twinned with, among others:
|Full name||Rotherham United Football Club|
|League One, 20th|
Rotherham United F.C. is an English football club from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, that plays in Football League's third tier, League One. Their home strip is red and white with white shorts, and their away kit is black with blue sleeves. Rotherham also have an alternate 3rd kit which is all white with a gold trim,which is minted.
The club was formed as Thornhill United. For many years the leading team in the area was Rotherham Town, who spent three seasons in the Football League while Thornhill United were still playing in the Sheffield & Hallamshire League. By the turn of the century, however, Rotherham Town had resigned from the Football League and briefly gone out of business before joining the Midland League. Meanwhile, Thornhill's fortunes were on the rise to the extent that in 1905 they laid claim to being the pre-eminent club in the town and changed their name to Rotherham County. For a period both clubs competed in the Midland League, finishing first and second in 1911-12. When the Great War ended, it was decided to extend The Football League by creating four new places in Division Two. Rotherham County, who had been champions of the Midland League in 1915 before the competition was suspended, were elected to one of the vacancies.
The Second Division was rather too tough for the Yorkshire side and in 1923 they were relegated to Division Three (North). In 1925 the club finished bottom and had to apply for re-election. Rotherham Town were themselves struggling and it was clear that to have two professional clubs in the town was not sustainable. Talks had begun in February 1925 and in early May the two clubs merged to form Rotherham United. Days later the reformed club was formally re-elected under its new name.
In a new amber and black strip, United may have begun with optimism but the new club fared little better than the old one. The now familiar red and white was adopted around 1928 but there was no improvement in the club's fortunes: in 1931 they again had to apply for re-election. Immediately after the Second World War things looked up. After adopting Arsenal-style white sleeved shirts, United finished as runners-up three time in succession between 1947 and 1949 and then were champions of Division Three (North) in 1951.
Rotherham reached their highest ever league position of third in the Football League Second Division in 1955, when only goal average denied them a place in the top flight after they finished level on points with champions Birmingham City and runners-up Luton Town.
The club held on to its place in Division Two until 1968 and then went into a decline that took them down to Division Four in 1973. In 1975 they were promoted back to the Third Division winning the championship. In 1981/82, Rotherham were once again in contention for promotion to the top flight but eventually finished 7th, some 4 points off 3rd place.
By 1988, United were again in Division Four but won the Division title at the first attempt. During the 1990s Rotherham were promoted and relegated between the lowest two divisions with some regularity. However, in 1996 Rotherham won the Football League Trophy final at Wembley.
The most successful manager to take charge of Rotherham United in recent years is Ronnie Moore, a former player of the club. His first season ended in a mid table finish and his second in a playoff defeat, but it was third time lucky in 1999-2000 when Rotherham finished as Division Three runners-up and gained promotion to Division Two. They were favourites to be relegated in 2000-01, but surprised all the observers by finishing runners-up in Division Two and gaining a second successive promotion. During this highly successful campaign, Rotherham also surprised critics by beating Premiership side Southampton in the FA Cup.
Rotherham remained in Division One (later renamed the Football League Championship) for four seasons, their most successful of which was the 2002/03 campaign. The Millers were in contention for a play-off place, however a last minute blip in form led them to finish 15th in the league, their lowest position all season. The following season, the Millers sold danger man Alan Lee to Cardiff City, and struggled without the Irish international's goals, finishing a disappointing 17th. However, the Millers once again surprised all critics by drawing 1-1 with Arsenal in the League Cup. A disastrous 2004-05 season, finally saw Rotherham relegated from the Championship. Ronnie Moore resigned during the relegation campaign, which saw Rotherham rooted to the foot of the division virtually all season long.
Mick Harford took over as Millers manager and made a promising start to their first season in League One. However, after a run of 17 games without a win, Harford was relieved of his managerial duties, replaced by former Wales international Alan Knill. Early in 2006 it was announced that the club faced an uncertain future unless a funding gap in the region of £140,000 per month could be plugged. The problem was compounded as Rotherham do not own their ground (Ken Booth took ownership of Millmoor in return for clearing £3m of debt), and have no tangible assets - as a result administration would not be a viable option for them, as it has been for other clubs. This led to the launch of a "Save Our Millers" campaign, aiming to raise the £1m needed to complete the season. It was also estimated that another £1m was required to complete work on the new stand.
Rotherham's South Yorkshire neighbors all offered their support. Sheffield United paid the wages of Stephen Quinn and Jonathan Forte during their successful loan spells at Millmoor, and also donated profits from the beam-back of the Sheffield derby on February 18 to Save The Millers. Many local clubs also held collections.
An eleventh hour intervention by a consortium of local businessmen offering substantial investment and a new business plan averted a possible dissolution of the club. Dennis Coleman took over as Rotherham United chairman, and made an immediate positive impact. 
The final match of the 2005-06 season, home to MK Dons, was a winner-take-all relegation showdown. A scoreless draw, combined with a Hartlepool United draw with Port Vale, kept Rotherham up and consigned both MK Dons and Hartlepool to the drop. However, Rotherham were to start the following season with a penalty of minus 10 points as a result of their recent financial troubles.
Rotherham United began their second successive year in the Coca-Cola Football League 1 with a 10-point deficit as a result of the CVA which saved the club from liquidation. Many people felt that this gave manager Alan Knill an almost impossible task but he worked hard all pre-season to give the club a fighting chance of surviving in League One.
At one point during the close season, the team had only seven full-time professionals on the books but Knill has made many high-calibre signings during this period to bolster the squad including former Liverpool winger Richie Partridge, ex-Premiership players Delroy Facey and Martin Woods, former Bayern Munich star Eugen Bopp and many others who have played at a higher level.
On 16 September, after three wins and two draws in their first nine games, Rotherham gained their first point in the league. They moved off the bottom of the table on 14 October, and after a run of three successive victories they moved out of the relegation zone after a 5-1 win against Crewe Alexandra on 28 October. After winning every league game in October, Knill was awarded the Manager of the Month and Yorkshire Manager of the Year awards.
At the arrival of the January transfer window, Knill sold stars Lee Williamson and Will Hoskins to Premiership side Watford for a combined fee in the ranges of £1 million. The much needed funds from this deal will now see Rotherham United financially secure until the end of the 2008 season - a fantastic achievement of which Alan Knill deserves much credit.  However, losing their two best players undoubtedly took its toll on the millers, who sunk back to the bottom of the table after winning only one match in three months. "We had quality but we sold it," said Knill "It's a big loss to the squad and its taken its toll." By the end of February, the Millers sat 13 points adrift of safety, making the threat of relegation almost inevitable. This resulted in Knill being sacked on March 1, with Mark Robins becoming caretaker manager.
Rotherham united play all their home games at Millmoor. On one side of the ground is the site of the new Main Stand which is being constructed. It is hoped that the 4,500 capacity which is single tiered, all seated and covered, will be completed sometime during the 2006/07 season. On the other side of the ground is the Millmoor Lane Stand, which has a mixture of covered and open seating. Roughly each section on this side is about a third of the length of the pitch. The covered seating in the middle of this stand looks quite distinctive, with several supporting pillars and an arched roof. Both ends are former terraces, with several supporting pillars and have now been made all seated. The larger of the two is the Tivoli End, used by home fans. It was noticeable that the pitch slopes up towards this end. The ground also benefits from a striking set of floodlights, the pylons of which are some of the tallest in the country at approximately 124 feet high.
Away fans are housed in the Railway End where normally just over 2,000 fans can be accommodated. This end is covered and all seated. An unusual feature is that away fans can only access this end via a small, narrow alleyway.
Millmoor is famous for being the first ground in the country to sell Pukka Pies. The fans are generally considered friendly and the standard of stewarding within the ground relaxed.
As of 6 January, 2007
The Chuckle Brothers and the Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme are known to be Millers fans, as are the American band Orson after the TV show Soccer AM selected a team for the group in a random lottery. Also 80's electro band My Pierrot Dolls are big fans of the club, as is Dean Andrews from BBC One's Life on Mars.
|Full name||The Millmoor Ground|
|Home of||Rotherham United FC, formerly Rotherham County F.C.|
|Pitch size||110 x 72 yards|
The stadium was built in 1925 and presently holds around 7,500. It is currently undergoing redevelopment work, with a new main stand being built in place of the previous wooden main stand which was built in the 1950s. The new stand will contain corporate facilities and bring the capacity back to over 10,000. The work is scheduled to finish in 2006, but has faced a series of setbacks, one of which was Japanese Knotweed being found on the site.
The pitch is one of the smallest pitches in the country at only 115 x 75 yards. Rotherham had proposed to extend the pitch widthways, but this never came to light.
The Tivoli is the home end behind the goal and is the spiritual end of Rotherham United. The stand holds up to 2,700 and also has the Rotherham United Suite Pub and Club Shop on the back.
Away fans are based in here but can be segregated to house both home and away fans. It holds up to 2,500.
This is currently been rebuilt but is half built and also includes some corporate facilities which are used on match days. Work on the main stand has ceased at the moment.
Opposite to the Main Stand is the Millmoor Lane side of the ground. It is split up into three sections:
In the next few years the stadium will be redeveloped and turned into a large modern stadium.
|Country:||Republic of Ireland|
|Owner:||Gaelic Athletic Association|
|Original Construction Cost:|
|Reconstruction Cost:||€ 260 million|
|Dimensions:||144.5 m x 88 m|
Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh) in Dublin, Ireland is the largest sports stadium in Ireland and the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), Ireland's biggest sporting organisation. Since 1884 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic Games, most notably the annual finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and Senior Hurling Championship. Music concerts by major international acts have also been held in "Croker", as it is often called, and it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics. During the refurbishment of Lansdowne Road the stadium is also hosting the Irish national rugby union and soccer teams. Following a redevelopment program started in the 1990s, Croke Park has a capacity of 82,500, making it the forth largest stadium in the EU and the largest stadium in the 2007 Six Nations Championship.
The area now known as Croke Park was originally an Athletics Course known variously as the City and Suburban Racecourse and "Jones Road" Sportsground. It was originally owned by Maurice Butterly. From the foundation of the association in 1884 this sportsground was used by the organisation regularly for Gaelic Games and Athletics. In 1896 both All-Irelands were played in the ground signifying the growing importance of the suburban plot for the ever expanding GAA. Recognising the potential of the Jones Road sportsground a journalist and GAA member, Frank Dineen, borrowed much of the £3,250 asking price and bought the ground personally in 1908. Only in 1913 did the GAA come into exclusive ownership of the plot when they purchased it from Dineen for £3,500. Once bought, the ground became known as Croke Park in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, one of the GAA's first patrons.
In 1913 Croke Park had two stands on what is now known as the Hogan stand side and grassy banks all round. In 1917 the rubble from the Easter Rising in 1916 was used to construct a grassy hill on the railway end of Croke Park to afford patrons a better view of the pitch which by now hosted all major football and hurling matches. Immortalised as Hill 16 it is perhaps one of the most famous terraces in the world.
On November 21, 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Auxiliary Division. British army auxiliaries – nicknamed the Black and Tans – entered the ground, shooting indiscriminately into the crowd killing 14 during a Dublin-Tipperary gaelic football match. The dead included 13 spectators and one player, Michael Hogan. The latter, Tipperary's captain, gave his name posthumously to the Hogan stand built four years later in 1924. These shootings, on the day which became known as Bloody Sunday, were possibly a reprisal for the assassination of 14 British Intelligence officers, known as the Cairo Gang, by Michael Collins' squad earlier that day.
In the 1920s the GAA set out to create a high capacity stadium at Croke Park. Following the Hogan Stand, the Cusack Stand, named after Michael Cusack from Clare (who founded the GAA and served as its first secretary), was built in 1927. 1936 saw the first double-deck Cusack Stand open with 5,000 seats, and concrete terracing being constructed on Hill 16. In 1952 the Nally Stand was built in memorial of Paddy Nally, another of the GAA founders. Seven years later, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the GAA, the first cantilevered "New Hogan Stand" was opened.
The highest attendance ever recorded at an All-Ireland Senior Football Final was 90,556 at the 1961 Offaly v Down final. Following the introduction of seating to the Cusack stand in 1966, the largest crowd recorded since has been reduced to 82,516.
In the 1980s the organisation decided to investigate ways to increase the capacity of the old stadium. The design for an 80,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1991. Gaelic Sports have special requirements as they take place on a large field. A specific requirement was to ensure the spectators were not too far from the field of play. This resulted in the three-tier design from which viewing games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and finally an upper concourse. The premium level contains restaurants, bars and conference areas. The project was split into four phases over a 14-year period.
The first phase of construction was to build a replacement for Croke Park's Cusack Stand. Completed in 1995 at a cost of £35 million, the new stand is 180 metres long, 35 metres high, has a capacity for 25,000 people and contains 46 hospitality suites. The new Cusack Stand contains three layers from which viewing games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and finally an upper concourse.
Phase Two of the development commenced in late 1998 and involved extending the new Cusack Stand to replace the existing Canal End terrace. It is now going to be known as The Davin Stand, after Maurice Davin, the first president of the GAA.
Phase Three saw the building of the new Hogan Stand. This required a greater variety of spectator categories to be accommodated including general spectators, corporate patrons, VIPs, broadcast and media services and operation staff. Extras included a fitted-out mezzanine level for VIP and Ard Comhairle (Where the dignatories sit) along with a top-level press media facility. The end of Phase Three took the total spectator capacity of Croke Park to 69,500.
After the 2003 Special Olympics, construction began in September 2003 on the final phase, Phase Four. This involved the redevelopment of the Nally Stand and Hill 16 into a new Nally End/Dineen Hill 16 terrace. It was officially opened by the then GAA President Seán Kelly on March 14, 2005. For logistical reasons (and, to a degree, historical reasons), and also to provide cheaper high-capacity space, the area is a terrace rather than a stand, the only remaining standing-room in Croke Park. Unlike the previous Hill, the new terrace was divided into separate sections – Hill A (Cusack stand side), Hill B (behind the goals) and the Nally terrace (on the site of the old Nally Stand). The fully redeveloped Hill has a capacity of around 13,000, bringing the overall capacity of the stadium to 82,500. This made the stadium the fourth-largest in the European Union, after the Nou Camp in Barcelona, Wembley Stadium in London, and the San Siro in Milan.
Although the stadium has completed all four phases, there is speculation that future development will include a roof for the stadium. The Hill 16 end is unlikely to be developed further in the near future with a second upper tier (in line with the other 3 sides) due to the proximity of the railway line and the fact that there are houses immediately behind the raised wall on which the rail line runs meaning the GAA would have to buy a street of houses to expand Hill 16 to anything more than a terrace.
The pitch in Croke Park is a Desso GrassMaster pitch which was laid in 2002 replacing the existing grass pitch. This is a modern development in pitch design which couples natural grass with a stitching of synthethic fibres. The close proximity of the stitching and the natural grass roots growing around the stitching is what gives the pitch its stability and is the key to the success of this type of surface. The system is employed in a number of English football stadia, including Anfield (Liverpool), Boleyn Ground (West Ham United), Madejski Stadium (Reading), Adams Park (Wycombe Wanderers) and Villa Park (Aston Villa).
Since January 2006, a special growth and lighting system called the SGL Concept has been used to assist grass growing conditions, even in the winter months. The system, created by Dutch company SGL (Stadium Grow Lighting), helps in controlling and managing all pitch growth factors, such as light, temperature, CO2, water, air and nutrients.
With the 2007 Six Nations clash with France and possibly other matches in subsequent years requiring lighting the GAA installed floodlights in the stadium. Indeed many other GAA grounds around the country have started to erect floodlights as the organisation starts to hold games in the evenings, whereas traditionally major matches were played almost exclusively on Sunday afternoons. The first game to be played under these lights at Croke Park was a National Football League Division One match between Dublin and Tyrone on 3 February 2007 with Irelands Six Nations match with France following on 11 February. Temporary floodlights were installed for the American Bowl game between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers on the pitch during the 1990s
There is great debate in Ireland regarding the use of Croke Park for sports other than those of the GAA. As the GAA was founded as a nationalist organisation to maintain and promote indigenous Irish sport, it has felt honour-bound throughout its history to oppose other, rival or "foreign" sports.
Up until the early 1970s, rule 27 of the GAA constitution stated that a member of the GAA could be banned from playing its games if found to be also playing soccer, rugby or cricket. That rule was abolished but another rule, #42, still prohibited the use of GAA property for games with interests in conflict with the interests of the GAA. The belief was that rugby and soccer were in competition with football and hurling, and that if the GAA allowed these sports to use their ground it may be harmful to Gaelic games. Therefore rule #42 has been taken to mean the sports of Rugby Union and Association Football as the playing of three games of American Football (two between Notre Dame and Navy, and an American Bowl game between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers) on the pitch during the 1990s showed.
On 16 April 2005, a motion to temporarily relax rule #42 was passed at the GAA Annual Congress. The motion gives the GAA Central Council the power to authorise the renting or leasing of Croke Park for events other than those controlled by the Association, during a period when Lansdowne Road – the venue for international soccer and rugby matches – is closed for redevelopment. The final result was 227 in favour of the motion to 97 against, 11 votes more than the required two-thirds majority.
In January 2006, it was announced that the GAA had reached agreement with the FAI and IRFU to stage two Six Nations games and four soccer internationals at Croke Park in 2007 and in February 2007, use of the pitch by the FAI and the IRFU in 2008 was also agreed. These agreements were within the temporary relaxation terms, as Lansdowne Road will still be under redevelopment until early 2009. However the GAA also said that hosted use of Croke Park would not extend beyond 2008, irrespective of the redevelopment progress.
A second match between Ireland and England on 24 February 2007 caused controversy – partially because of the singing of the British National Anthem God Save the Queen.  Ultimately the anthem was sung without interruption or incident, and applauded by both sets of supporters at the match, which Ireland won by 43-13 (their largest ever win over England, in rugby).
On the 24 March 2007 the first soccer match took place at Croke Park. The Republic of Ireland took on Wales in a Euro 2008 Qualifier, in which a Stephen Ireland goal secured a 1-0 win for the Irish in front of a crowd of 72,500. Prior to this, the IFA Cup had been played at the then Jones's Road Ground in 1901, but this was before the GAA took ownership.
|Republic of Ireland|
|Nickname||The Boys in Green|
|Association||Football Association of Ireland|
|Head coach|| Steve Staunton (2006-)|
Sir Bobby Robson (2006-)
|Asst coach||Kevin MacDonald (2006-)|
|Most caps||Steve Staunton (102)|
|Top scorer||Robbie Keane (29)|
|Home stadium||Croke Park (while Lansdowne Road|
is being redeveloped)
|Highest FIFA ranking||6 (August 1993)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||57 (November 1998)|
|Highest Elo ranking||8 (April 2002, August 2002)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||67 (May 1972)|
Italy 3 - 0 Ireland (FAI)
(Turin, Italy; 21 March 1926)
Republic of Ireland 8 - 0 Malta
(Dublin, Republic of Ireland; 16 November 1983)
Brazil 7 - 0 Republic of Ireland
(Uberlândia, Brazil; 27 May 1982)
|Appearances||3 (First in 1990)|
|Best result||Quarterfinals, 1990|
|Appearances||1 (First in 1988)|
|Best result||Round 1, 1988|
The Republic of Ireland national football team is the football team of the Republic of Ireland and is governed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). The FAI were founded on June 1, 1921 and were permitted to join FIFA in 1923 as the Football Association of the Irish Free State (FAIFS). Prior to this, the Irish Football Association (IFA) governed all football on the island with the all-Ireland international team playing under the name, 'Ireland'. The first international game involving the new Irish association team took place in Turin, Italy in March 1926. The FAIFS also used the name, 'Ireland', for its team even though the IFA still remained in existence and fielded a team under the same name. In 1936, the FAIFS re-adopted its original name, the FAI, in order to conform with the approaching enactment of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland and the impending official name-change of the state from the Irish Free State to Ireland. It was not until 1953 that the FAI team became known as the 'Republic of Ireland', when a FIFA intervention directed that this be so, in order to distinguish the team from the IFA's 'Ireland', who were from then on to be known as 'Northern Ireland'. Three years previously FIFA had also directed that the two associations were to discontinue the practice of choosing players from all over the island and limited them to fielding players from their own respective jurisdictions.
Though they had been involved in international competition since the 1930s, the FAIFS/FAI team did not qualify for any international tournaments until Euro 88 in Germany. That was followed by reaching the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup. The Irish also reached the second round in the 1994 and 2002 World Cups.
The FAI announced on October 17, 2005 that the contract of manager Brian Kerr would not be renewed following elimination from the 2006 World Cup Qualifiers. On 9 January 2006 he was replaced by Steve Staunton, who will be mentored until Euro 2008 by Sir Bobby Robson.
Since the 1980s, most home matches have been played at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, the national rugby stadium owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU). This ground is to be closed for redevelopment in the period 2007-2009. The first football international played there was a friendly against Italy in 1971; a 5-0 victory over San Marino in a Euro 2008 qualifying match on 15 November 2006 was the last game there before the reconstruction. The all-seater capacity of Lansdowne Road prior to the renovation was 36,000, although higher attendances, using the standing only areas, were permitted for friendly matches. The all seater new stadium will increase capacity for competitive games to 50,000.
Prior to the 1980s, the Republic of Ireland played most home games at Dalymount Park, home of Bohemian FC, but progressively more games were played at Lansdowne following a safety review which reduced Dalymount's capacity and the last international match played there was against Morocco in 1990. The Republic of Ireland has also played home matches in Tolka Park (twice) and the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin as well in Cork venues Mardyke and Flower Lodge.
With the announcement of the rebuilding of Lansdowne Road, a new venue was required to stage Ireland's home internationals. The only stadium in Ireland capable of holding international football was Croke Park, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association. To accommodate this, the GAA temporarily relaxed its rule governing the playing of "foreign" games on its property. Initially, four Euro 2008 qualifiers will be played at Croke Park during 2007.
|24 March 2007||Republic of Ireland v Wales||1 - 0|
|28 March 2007||Republic of Ireland v Slovakia||1 - 0|
|13 October 2007||Republic of Ireland v Germany||-|
|17 October 2007||Republic of Ireland v Cyprus||-|
Clubs are part of the English league system except where noted.
| || || |
|Date||City||Opponent||Type of game|
|May 23, 2007||New York||Ecuador||Friendly game|
|May 26, 2007||Foxborough||Bolivia||Friendly game|
|August 22, 2007||Arhus||Denmark||Friendly game|
|September 9, 2007||Bratislava||Slovakia||Euro 2008 qualifier|
|September 12, 2007||Prague||Czech Republic||Euro 2008 qualifier|
|October 13, 2007||Dublin||Germany||Euro 2008 qualifier|
|October 17, 2007||Dublin||Cyprus||Euro 2008 qualifier|
|November 17, 2007||Cardiff||Wales||Euro 2008 qualifier|
Italy 3 - 0 Ireland
March 21, 1926. Turin; Friendly;
Ireland's first game independent of the IFA
England 0 - 2 Ireland
September 21, 1949. Goodison Park; Friendly;
England's first defeat at home to a non-Home Nation side
Spain 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland
November 10, 1965: Stade Colombes, Paris; World Cup qualifying playoff;
Was supposed to be played in London (where Irish community would have given huge support), but FAI agreed to move the game to Paris in exchange for 100% of gate money. In front of an almost totally Spanish crowd, the Republic of Ireland lost their best chance of making the finals at that point.
Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Italy
May 11, 1971:Lansdowne Road; European Championship qualifier;
Republic of Ireland's first game at Lansdowne Road
Belgium 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland
March 25, 1981:Heysel, Brussels; World Cup qualifer;
Controversial loss which ultimately cost Ireland qualification for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
Brazil 7 - 0 Republic of Ireland
May 27, 1982:Uberlândia; Friendly;
Republic of Ireland's record defeat
Republic of Ireland 2 - 0 Bulgaria
October 14, 1987: Lansdowne Road; European Championship qualifier;
Enabled qualification to first ever major tournament (Euro 88) when on November 11, 1987, Bulgaria lost their last home qualifying game to Scotland 0-1.
Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Italy
June 18, 1994: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford; World Cup first round;
Unexpected victory over the side who later lost the final on penalties, it was also Ireland's first World Cup win
See here for top goal scorers per country.
Standings and results for Group D of the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying tournament.
|Republic of Ireland||13||7||4||1||2||12||8||+4|
Notes on the current tiebreaking situation:
|September 2, 2006|
|Czech Republic||2–1 ||Wales||Na Stínadlech, Teplice|
Referee: Eriksson (Sweden)
|Lafata 76', 89'||Report||Jiránek 85' (og)|
|September 2, 2006|
|Slovakia||6–1 ||Cyprus||Tehelné Pole, Bratislava|
Referee: Orekhov (Ukraine)
|Škrtel 9' |
Mintál 33', 55'
Šebo 43', 48'
|September 2, 2006|
|Germany||1–0 ||Republic of Ireland||Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart|
Referee: Medina (Spain)
|September 6, 2006|
|Slovakia||0–3 ||Czech Republic||Tehelné Pole, Bratislava|
Referee: Bennett (England)
|Report||Sionko 10', 21'|
|September 6, 2006|
|San Marino||0–13 ||Germany||Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle|
Referee: Dereli (Turkey)
|Report||Podolski 12', 43', 64', 73'|
Schweinsteiger 29', 47'
Klose 30', 45+1'
Hitzlsperger 66', 72'
M. Friedrich 87'
Schneider 90' (pen)
|October 7, 2006|
|Wales||1–5 ||Slovakia||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
Referee: Van Egmond (Netherlands)
|Bale 37'||Report||Švento 14'|
Mintál 32', 38'
|October 7, 2006|
|Czech Republic||7–0 ||San Marino||U Nisy Stadion, Liberec|
Referee: Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
|Kulič 15' |
Baroš 32', 68'
Koller 42', 52'
|October 7, 2006|
|Cyprus||5–2 ||Republic of Ireland||Neo GSP Stadium, Nicosia|
Referee: Batista (Portugal)
|Konstantinou 10', 50' (pen) |
Charalambides 60', 75'
|October 11, 2006|
|Republic of Ireland||1–1 ||Czech Republic||Lansdowne Road, Dublin|
Referee: Layec (France)
|Kilbane 62'||Report||Koller 64'|
|October 11, 2006|
|Slovakia||1–4 ||Germany||Tehelné Pole, Bratislava|
Referee: Hauge (Norway)
|Varga 58'||Report||Podolski 13', 72'|
|October 11, 2006|
|Wales||3–1 ||Cyprus||Millenium Stadium, Cardiff|
Referee: Granat (Poland)
|Koumas 33' |
|November 15, 2006|
|Cyprus||1–1 ||Germany||Neo GSP Stadium, Nicosia|
Referee: Frøjdfeldt (Sweden)
|Okkas 43'||Report||Ballack 16'|
|November 15, 2006|
|Republic of Ireland||5–0 ||San Marino||Lansdowne Road, Dublin|
Referee: Isaksen (Faroe Islands)
|Reid 7' |
Keane 31', 58'(pen) , 85'
|February 7, 2007|
|San Marino||1–2 ||Republic of Ireland||Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle|
Referee: Rasmussen (Denmark)
|Manuel Marani 86'||Report||Kilbane 49'|
|March 24, 2007|
|Republic of Ireland||1–0 ||Wales||Croke Park, Dublin|
Referee: Hauge (Norway)
|March 24, 2007|
|Cyprus||1–3 ||Slovakia||Neo GSP Stadium, Nicosia|
Referee: Lehner (Austria)
|Aloneftis 45'||Report||Vittek 54'|
|March 24, 2007|
|Czech Republic||1–2 ||Germany||Toyota Arena, Prague|
Referee: Rosetti (Italy)
|Baroš 77'||Report||Kuranyi 42', 62'|
|March 28, 2007|
|Czech Republic||1–0 ||Cyprus||U Nisy, Liberec|
Referee: Bebek (Croatia)
|March 28, 2007|
|Republic of Ireland||1–0 ||Slovakia||Croke Park, Dublin|
Referee: Baskakov (Russia)
|March 28, 2007|
|Wales||3–0 ||San Marino||Millenium Stadium, Cardiff|
Referee: Tchagharyan (Armenia)
|Giggs 3' |
Koumas 63' (pen)
| || || |