Throwback Thursday: Crossing the great divide of Cork soccer with Celtic and Hibs

A number of players and managers were to the fore with both clubs
Throwback Thursday: Crossing the great divide of Cork soccer with Celtic and Hibs

Carl Davenport at the launch of his book The Dav with Sam Allardyce,  in 2010. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

RECENTLY we looked at how despite Cork Hibernians and Cork Celtic's keen rivalry, they attracted players to play with both teams.

The colourful maestro of the wing, Paul O’Donovan, ‘The Golden Boy’, was indeed one of those who excelled on each side of the divide. 

The future Celtic title-winning manager enjoyed two spells with Hibernians and played for Celtic in between having started out in schoolboy football with Tower Rovers. 

He signed for Evergreen United in 1955 but, unable to command a regular place, he moved to local rivals Hibs three month into their inaugural season of 1957/58. 

After coming home after a trial by Swansea Town in August 1959 he signed for Cork Celtic. 

He would go tantalisingly close to winning league and cup honours after losing out to Shelbourne in the league in 1962 and Shamrock Rovers in the cup final in 1964. 

Cork Celtic at Cork Airport prior to departure for the European Cup Winners Cup match versus Slavia Sofia in 1964. Included are: Pat O'Mahony, Donie Leahy, Paul O'Donovan, John Coughlan, Sean Casey, Bill O'Herlihy, Gerry O'Sullivan, Liam O'Flynn, Mick Millington, Al Casey, Frankie McCarthy, Austin Noonan, Dan Spillane, Ray Cowhie, Kevin Blount, Seamus Madden, John Clifford. 
Cork Celtic at Cork Airport prior to departure for the European Cup Winners Cup match versus Slavia Sofia in 1964. Included are: Pat O'Mahony, Donie Leahy, Paul O'Donovan, John Coughlan, Sean Casey, Bill O'Herlihy, Gerry O'Sullivan, Liam O'Flynn, Mick Millington, Al Casey, Frankie McCarthy, Austin Noonan, Dan Spillane, Ray Cowhie, Kevin Blount, Seamus Madden, John Clifford. 

After a brief spell with Drumcondra, he returned to Hibs in January 1967, scoring once in 10 outings. 

On retiring he took over the reins at Celtic briefly in 1971and again in 1972 after another entertainer Carl Davenport was sacked. 

The highlight of his time in charge was leading the Turner’s Cross outfit to their one and only title win in 1973-'74 and will be remembered for bringing over the legendary George Best and Geoff Hurst in 1975-'76 to boost home attendances.

THE DAV

Another flamboyant character to endear to fans of both teams, Carl Davenport, ‘The Dav’ as he was affectionately known, signed for Celtic in 1967 and ended the season as the club’s top scorer before becoming player-coach the following season. 

He finished up as the league’s joint-top scorer with Dundalk’s Ben Hannigan with 15 goals from 22 matches. 

A dispute over a transfer fee led to him signing for Hibs where he again led his new club’s scoring charts with 20 goals in 33 appearance in his first season. 

He went on to win League, Shield, Blaxnit Cup, Dublin City Cup and Munster Senior Cup honours with Hibernians before taking charge of Celtic in the summer of 1971. 

Cork Hibs League of Ireland champions 1971. Back: Terry Young, Noel O’Mahony, Frankie Connolly, Joe O’Grady, Tony Marsden, Carl Davenport, Dave Wigginton. Front: Donie Wallace, John Herrick, Dave Bacuzzi, Sonny Sweeny, John Lawson. Missing from photo is Miah Dennehy scorer of two goals in the decider.
Cork Hibs League of Ireland champions 1971. Back: Terry Young, Noel O’Mahony, Frankie Connolly, Joe O’Grady, Tony Marsden, Carl Davenport, Dave Wigginton. Front: Donie Wallace, John Herrick, Dave Bacuzzi, Sonny Sweeny, John Lawson. Missing from photo is Miah Dennehy scorer of two goals in the decider.

However, he was sacked 14 months later but was far from finished, managing to score six for Celtic B against Crosshaven and playing a brief cameo in Celtic’s championship success in 1974.

TUCKER

Tony ‘Tucker’ Allen was another to strut the boards with both clubs, first turning out for Hibs in March 1960 where he became the youngest cup final captain in 1963 before joining neighbours Celtic in January 1967. 

The Leeside stalwart spent six seasons at the Cross but did not feature in the title-winning team of 1974. 

He went on to manager Avondale United to their first FAI Intermediate Cup win in 1977 as well as taking charge of Albert Rovers and Cork City for brief stints in the League of Ireland.

AMBY FOGARTY

Dubliner Amby Fogarty has the distinction of being player-manager at both clubs, taking charge of Hibs in 1967 after a successful career with English clubs, Sunderland and Hartlepool. 

He enticed future Hibs’ stars Dave Wigginton and Carl Davenport to sign along with local gem Miah Dennehy who would go on to play internationally and later join Nottingham Forrest and Walsall. 

Fogarty made a shock exit from the Lodge in February 1969 after a dispute arose following his decision to leave Wigginton out of his starting 11. 

Seven months later he was recruited by Celtic as player-manager but was sacked in December 1970 only to ply his trade as a player with Drumcondra and then manager of Limerick and Athlone Town, presiding over the famous home draw with Italian giants AC Milan in the UEFA Cup. 

He returned to Celtic in 1978 as manager and in the dying embers of the club’s tenure in the league, was left with no other option but to tog out himself at the age of 45 against champions-elect Dundalk in April 1979. 

Earlier in the season he famously put a match to the wooden dressing rooms at Turner’s Cross with the intention of putting a new structure in place. 

But in spite of his enthusiasm and that of the supporter’s club who painstakingly tried in vain to get the pitch and its surrounds ready in time for the new season, the financial situation at the club was such that it could not continue to function as a going concern.

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