Bevan still has the drive to give it his all for another year with Blackstone Rovers

Bevan still has the drive to give it his all for another year with Blackstone Rovers
Colin Bevan in action for Blackstone. Picture: Billy Lyons

IT’S not how he imagined he would celebrate his 20th year with Blackstone Rovers.

Due to the season being cut short by Covid-19, Colin Bevan will now continue to play for at least another season.

Starting out his footballing career with Portview as a keeper, Bevan soon moved to St Mary’s where he spent most of his schoolboys as a centre-half and it was there his love for the game grew, with winning the U11 league being a memorable highlight.

“At the age of nine I joined St Mary’s playing alongside some great players such as John Gardiner, Danny O’Leary, Harry Goulding, and Johnathon Croker. He was the best player in the schoolboys league at the time.

“Lads such as Tommy Murphy, Timmy Ricken and Mickey Hoey were very welcoming and full of encouragement and I settled in great to my new side.

“We had some great games with Leeds being our main rivals, with lads such as Ken Coleman and Leon McSweeney key players for the Ballyvolane club.”

The team folded at U13 level and although he joined Blarney Street, he never really settled.

“Playing with Mary’s with friends Dave Goggin and Jason Mannix allowed me enjoy the game more and I spent a lot of this period playing in goal. Having played GAA with the Glen I was comfortable in goal so when the team was stuck, I always obliged.”

The 37-year-old father of one to son Callum comes from a very strong footballing family background. His father Tony, was a referee and was also founder of many clubs while his mother Ann and her family are members of Passage football club.

Blackstone Rovers' Colin Bevan with his dad Tony and brother Ivan after getting his hands on silverware with his beloved club.
Blackstone Rovers' Colin Bevan with his dad Tony and brother Ivan after getting his hands on silverware with his beloved club.

His brother Ivan is the current Cobh Ramblers U19 manager while brother Shane and cousins Don Bevan and Finbarr Redmond were top keepers in their day. Enjoying sport was something Bevan always believed in and in 1999 when approached to join Blackstone, to play with family and friends, he jumped at the chance and has never looked back since.

“My brother Ivan, Colum Kelleher along with others founded Blackstone Rovers. I went up to watch a few games and saw they had great banter and spirit.

“Regardless of results the following year I played a few pre-season games with them mostly around midfield and up front and was asked to join.

“My mam thought I was too young as I had another year in youths and she was probably right but my mind was made up and I have loved my time there ever since.

“I played centre half and soon realised that there was a big difference from schoolboys to AUL both physically and mentally. Thankfully though I had my brothers and lads such as Andrew ‘Fads’ O’Brien and Trevor ‘Chezzie’ Hartnett who looked after me both on and off the pitch.

Blackstone Rovers defender Colin Bevan gets in a clearance despite the close attention of Glen's Barry Donovan. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Blackstone Rovers defender Colin Bevan gets in a clearance despite the close attention of Glen's Barry Donovan. Picture: Barry Peelo.

“AUL was very competitive and every game was a battle but we improved with every year and had great players like Davey ‘Doc’ O’Connor and Colin Ned O’Leary.

“Our main rivals were Central Rovers and I had a running battle with Darren ‘Georgie’ McCarthy who was a thorn in my side and we loved kicking lumps out of each other. We now work together and look back with great memories.”

Blackstone Rovers's Joe Forde (treasurer), Colin Bevan, Vince Forde (manager) and Ger O'Brien in 2010. Bevan will play on for another season after Covid-19 cut short the last campaign. Picture: Barry Peelo
Blackstone Rovers's Joe Forde (treasurer), Colin Bevan, Vince Forde (manager) and Ger O'Brien in 2010. Bevan will play on for another season after Covid-19 cut short the last campaign. Picture: Barry Peelo

Having captained Blackstone to league and Keane Cup victory and playing his best football, in 2008 the Parklands man was brought to the attention of Minty Fitzgerald’s Oscar Traynor squad and was part of the winning side who lifted the cup that year. An experience that Bevan looks back on with great pride.

“The management of Richard Minty Fitzgerald, Decky O’Regan and Andrew Keegan created fantastic team spirit during my time with the Oscar Traynor squad. We had the likes of Jason Keegan, Derek Delea and Derek Varian who were top players and top men.

“We won some great games away to Limerick and a deserved win against hot favourites Dublin after going one down in the final. We really celebrated that win for about 12 months,” laughs Bevan.

Through his years with Blackstone, lads such as Conor Foley, Vincy Forde, and Derek Mellerick all played a key role in Bevan’s performances and although the club is at a lower level than they would like, Bevan believes under the guidance of his father, Owen O’Brien, James Harrington and George McCarthy, the future looks bright for the club.

“There are great people involved in the club and although I’m nearing the end of my playing career, due to the Covid-19 disruptions, I’m definitely going to try to give it another season. As a centre half and with over 450 appearances, it’s hard to believe I only ever received one red card,” reflects Bevan.

“Some players would describe me as a tough but fair player. I love a good tackle and have an honest attitude and I think refs have given me the benefit of the doubt over the years thankfully,” he adds.

Colin Bevan, Blackstone Rovers player, with his wife Elizabeth and son Callum.
Colin Bevan, Blackstone Rovers player, with his wife Elizabeth and son Callum.

“With the continued support from my wife Elizabeth, my employer Niall Murphy, Conor and Ger O’Riordan and Mick Buckley and my parents, I hope I will get to play for another while yet.

“I look forward to making more memories with my beloved club while at the same time encouraging my little boy Callum to get involved in sports where he will meet friends for life.”#

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