COBH Ramblers Football Club is set to round off its centenary celebrations in style this Friday night with a dinner dance at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Little Island.
The famous old club has already marked its 100-year anniversary by launching a book detailing its long, illustrious history while it also held a number of smaller events around Cobh.
But this Friday night, November 25, the Rams will hold the main event of the celebrations.
“It’s surreal to be celebrating 100 years of the club and it is important that we do celebrate it,” began chairman Bill O’Leary.
“It’s not an easy achievement especially when you are a semi-professional club.
“It’s going to be a nice celebration for us, we are going to have a lot of players and former players there, some faces, and you can guess who that might be.”
On the night the club will be inducting three Ramblers legends into their Hall of Fame, and they recently announced that the first of those inductees will be the man who is quite possibly the most famous player to wear the Claret and Blue; Roy Keane.
Keane is likely to be in attendance, while the Cobh Ramblers Team of the Century — as voted by the club members — will also be announced.
“It’s important to recognise them, but really this is all just about coming together and celebrating together to recognize everyone who has contributed to the club over the 100 years.
“Every single person should be recognised, whether they were players or helped to run it or were volunteers, they have all helped us reach 100 years so we need to celebrate each and every one of them.
“This is probably the main event of the celebrations. We had a book launch, and we also had an event in Cobh library, where we had a museum with some of our old artifacts on show, which was really interesting.
“There were lots of old jerseys, footballs, and gear, and lots of ex-players came into that as well when it was on for the couple of weeks which was brilliant.
“We still have plans to install a mural to celebrate the club, but that may not happen until next year, which will either be inside the ground or outside the ground.
“But overall this dinner dance will be the culmination of the celebrations and it should be a great night.
“We have had a very enjoyable three or four years in charge, and we have taken the club into a good place financially and every other way, so we sort of want to celebrate that as well.”
Ramblers also marked the club centenary in style by lifting the Munster Senior Cup for the sixth time in their history, when they defeated rivals Cork City 1-0 in the final at Turner’s Cross back in September.
But overall it was a difficult season for the club on the pitch, as they finished bottom of the first division, something they will want to rectify in their 101st year.
“The challenge for us now is how do we move forward?” queried O’Leary.
“We recognise that we need investment. We need investment to be able to sign players that are going to take us up the league and so on.
“We have done as much as we can in a prudent way and a structured way but that’s off the pitch, we need to recognise what we can do to improve on the pitch.
“We are not happy that we came last.
We have set good foundations off the pitch so now we maybe need to be… not ambitious, but certainly we need to look at other investment opportunities, and we are looking at that.
“We need to give Shane (Keegan) the equipment and the personnel that he needs to really take advantage of his expertise and his abilities but also to build on the foundations that we have created off the pitch.”
For now, the club will enjoy this dinner dance, before work recommences on making the necessary improvements they need to be competitive.
This will be a night not to be missed, and tickets — priced €80 for a single ticket or €150 for a couple — can be purchased in the club office, although they are now extremely limited.