LEAGUE OF IRELAND

Dunleavy and Ferry will be guests of honour at derby clash

Former Sligo and Harps players to be honoured on Saturday night

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Dunleavy and Ferry will be guests of honour at derby clash

Finn Harps will welcome two players back to Finn Park on Saturday night for the Sligo Rovers match who both represented Harps and Sligo during their careers.

Mick Ferry was one of the members of the Donegal League Youth team, managed by Richie Kelly that won an All Ireland title in 1978.  Among his team mates on that occasion were Declan McIntyre, Packie and Denis Bonner and Con McLaughlin. 

He made his Harps debut away to Thurles Town, on the 4th February 1979 in a five-nil victory, as a substitute for Tony O’Doherty. The following season he became a regular in the side playing 28 times and getting on the scoresheet on two occasions.  His first goal came in an away game against Drogheda United, on 16 December 1979 which Harps won by three goals to two. 

He moved onto Sligo Rovers the following year, being signed by Patsy McGowan.  Ferry had moved to work in Sligo town.  It could be argued that he enjoyed the best spell of his career at the Showgrounds and this culminated in being a member of the side that won the FAI Cup win in 1983. The inclement weather didn’t prevent Sligo from defeating Bohemians by two goals to one and this was the first time that the FAI Cup came to the Showgrounds. 

Finn Harps Record: Appearances 35 +1 as sub scoring 2 goals. 

Damien Dunleavy had come to prominence with his hometown club Sligo Rovers, before joining Raith Rovers. On his return from Scotland he signed for Derry City and had a brief spell with Sligo and it was from there that he joined Finn Harps.   Damien played three seasons for Harps before moving to Longford Town in the close season of 1996. 

Damien will always be remembered for scoring the first goal under lights in Finn Park against UCD in the FAI Cup.   His recollection of the goal was “It is the most memorable goal I scored for Harps.   The pitch was very heavy and it was raining quite heavily that night and a great crowd had turned up to see the game.  I remember turning the centre-half on the halfway line and thinking I am not going to have the legs to keep going all the way so I let fly and it flew into the top corner like a bullet.  In fairness, the wind did catch it too.” 

In total, he scored 24 goals in the colours of Harps and helped the club gain promotion to the Premier Division for the first time in 1996.  He made his debut as a substitute away to Home Farm on 7 November 1993 when he replaced Ollie Reid.  His first goal came away to Bray Wanderers on 12 December 1993 as Harps won by four goals to nil.

Finn Harps Record: Appearances 53 +19 as sub scoring 24 goals.

Player History By Bartley Ramsay