Over 200 attended at the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town on Friday night to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Letterbarrow FC.
The night was one designed for enjoyment, which mirrors a club that has endured through thick and thin (mainly thin).
The Abbey Hotel was looking good, too, with photographs of past Letterbarrow on every table and a magnificent display of correspondence and cuttings from the beginnings back in 1976 to the present day.
As a club, Letterbarrow have never once failed to field in that 40 years. But you got a feel from the night that enjoyment and a community spirit were more important than winning.
Many stories were related; some of them wouldn’t pass legal scrutiny for printing, but among the best were Mickey Kerrigan’s description of the first ever goal scored by Letterbarrow (in their opening game, a 6-1 defeat to Castle FC). “I got the ball in the middle of the field and went on a mazy run, beating four defenders, nutmegging two of them, before putting it in the net.” After 40 years, Mickey’s goal gets better and better and he is the only one that remembers!
Alan McGroary, when asked why it took Letterbarrow so long to win anything, pointed to the manager, Denis Gorman. “Did you ever go in for a haircut to Denis. It takes a while!” quipped Alan.
The Donegal League was represented by Terry Leyden and prior to music of the Pat Gallagher Band, a special presentation was made to Letterbarrow chairman, James McGroary, by team manager, Denis Gorman. The presentation was in recognition of the work that James has put in over the full 40 years, the only ever present and indeed, without whom it is unlikely that Letterbarrow would have prevailed.