Bridge United AFC

Founded 1967

Co. Clare

Club History

Bridge United was founded in 1967 to provide a sporting and social outlet for the inhabitants of Sixmilebridge and its environs. The founder members of the club were Rory McNamara, Paddy Cooney and Mikey Whyte.  Its teams play in the Clare Soccer League and it is affiliated to the Munster Football Association and the Football Association of Ireland.

The first committee elected were Paddy Cooney as Chairman, Michael Whyte (Secretary) and Paddy Whyte (Treasurer). 

From 1967, when the club was formed to the present day it has been fortunate enough to have had an excellent voluntary committee who has guided the club through its ups and downs. It's ups has seen us grow from a one to eight club team including two schoolgirls sides as well as an academy structure to cater for the 6-10 age group.  It's downs would be our struggle to improve our facilities, a struggle we aim to overcome and are well on the way to doing so.

The club since its formation have had to move home 5 times and on each occasion has had to prepare, level and set out a pitch to meet Clare League standards.

The club set out with one side originally and played in the old Second Division.

BRIDGE UTD - FIRST GAME

The Club's first game was against Miltown Malbay in 1967/68 Season. This game was played at Our Lady's pitch in Ennis, the "Bridge" won this game when Kevin "Trixie" Twomey scored the only goal of the game.

FIRST SUCCESS - 2ND DIVISION LEAGUE WINNERS 1968/69

Back Row: Pat Darcy, PJ Keane, John Nash (RIP), Christy Murphy, Jim Murphy, Paddy Mulready

Front: Paddy Hickey (RIP), Mick O'Shea (Captain), Mikey Whyte, Mike Keogh, Johnny Frost

May 1969/70 - 2nd Division Champions once again

Back Row: Paddy Cooney (Manager), Kevin 'Trixie Toomey RIP, Gerry Earls, Paddy Whyte, Christy Murphy, J Frost, Tom Reidy

Front: Paddy Hickey RIP, Packie Murphy, Brendan Keane RIP, Mick O'Shea (Captain), Johnny Frost, Mikey Whyte, C Kearney.

1971/72 - Haughey Cup & Munster Junior Cup Winners(Clare Area)

The clubs first cup win was in the 1971 /72 season when they beat Gardisette 2-1. The goals on the day were scored by Trixie Toomey and a brilliant indovidual effort by Gerry 'Gerson' Earls who tantilised the Gardisette full backs all afternoon. Other noticeable performances on the day were those of Mick O'Shea Snr, Tony Lee, Tony Platt, Mikey Whyte and Pat 'Arnie' Murphy who as a 17 year old picked up his first of 3 Haughy Cup Medals.

 

Fact or Fiction?? Paddy ' Cooper' Whyte introduced white boots to Clare Football?

BRIDGE UNITED - First Division Winners 1975

 

Back Row: Brendan Keane (RIP)‚ Kevin 'Trixie' Toomey (RIP)‚ Eddie Deignan‚ Tony Platt‚ PJ Keane‚ Tony Mcgelligott‚ Toastal Devanney‚ Paddy Whyte

Front Row: Jackie Ryan‚ Paddy Hickey (RIP)‚ Mick O'Shea‚ Mikey Whyte‚ Mascot Alan Whyte‚ Tony Lee‚ Arnie Murphy‚

BRIDGE UTD - Cup Winners 1977

The Clubs second Cup success came in 1976/77 Season when they beat a fancied Newmarket Celtic team by 1 - 0 Tim Crowe getting the only goal of the game.

Mick O'Shea Snr., who has given a tremendous amount of time and effort to the club since its foundation, managed them. Mick was one of the best centre‑halves in Clare Soccer for years till he called it a day and became a successful manager with the soccer club.

Mick has also stood between the posts for the Bridge Senior hurling team. The Panel that day was Sean McInerney, Paddy Deegan, Paddy Whyte, Mick O'Shea Snr., Tony Dea, P. J. "Bite your legs" Keane who was captain, Ritchie Moloney, Michael Whyte, Tim Crowe, Gerry Nash, Paddy Mulready, Christy Murphy, Niall Gavin.

1981/82 - 1st Division League Champions,  Munster Junior Cup (Clare Area), Hermitage Tournament

 

Haughey Cup Winners 1984

There third success in the Haughey Cup was in 1983/84 Season when they beat a strong Kilrush side by 2 ‑ 1 after extra time. Match winner that day was Eric Greene who scored both goals, the winner coming from the penalty spot after Flan McInerney had been brought down.

The headline in the "Clare Champion" on the Tuesday before the game was "Eric Green can prove to be match winner" how right they were.

The Murphy family provided the team with four players that year "Christy, Leo, Jimmy and Pakie, better known as "Arnie".

Back: Frankie McMahon, Christy Murphy, Eric Greene, Willie Frawley, Leo Murphy, Jimmy Murphy, Noel O Gorman

Front: Eamonn Murphy, John Kelly RIP, Michael ' Speedie' O'Shea, Paddy Mulready (Captain), Christy Shannon, Arnie Murphy, Brian Murphy (Mascot). Missing from photo: Flan McInerney, Barney Lynch.

Interesting Fact!! Eric Greene scored in every round of the Cup campaign and his converted penalty earned Bridge the Haughey Cup Title.

BRIDGE UNITED - Premier League Champions 2002/03

 

BRIDGE UNITED - Premier League Champions 2005/06

 

 

Never Forgotten

Barry "Jacko" Noonan

“BRAVE and full of heart,” just one of the touching tributes paid to popular Sixmilebridge man Barry Noonan. Barry, known to his friends as ‘Jacko’ was well-known throughout the parish, particularly in sporting circles where he played for Bridge United. He was a member of the soccer club from an early age and played at every level up to junior where, in recent years, he enjoyed great success with the club’s B team.

Paying tribute to their friend, a spokesman for the team described him as the “entertainer”, always playing jokes with his teammates. “On the field and though he wasn’t the biggest man, he was well able to look after himself, he was brave and full of heart with no shortage of speed and skill, always applied 100%. As the saying goes ‘he would run all day for ya’ – this applies to Jacko. In a recent unexpected cup win against Bridge Celtic, I am sure he covered every blade of grass.

His love of sport was evident the minute you spoke to him and I think few would challenge his football trivia, whether it was his beloved Celtic and Aston Villa or 1930 World Cup, Jacko knew his stuff. He was a friend to everyone, enthusiastic about everything and most of all loved by everybody.” Starting in 2011 an Annual Memorial Event takes place in honour of a great clubman, player and friend.

 

Hughie Kelly

Former Manager Hughie Kelly passed away in April 2010. The former Derry City player led Clare to its first ever Oscar Traynor trophy in 2004 managed Bridge United A on two occasions leading them to the last 16 of the FAI in 2001. One of those to pay tribute to Mr. Kelly was the Chairman of the Clare District Soccer League Jim Madden who described him as an ‘incredibly committed man’.
He added: "The Clare League are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Hugh Kelly, and we extend our utmost condolences to his family and friends."

 

Patrick 'Cop' O'Sullivan

Pat O' Sullivan was a very popular lifetime member of the club, a player and club trustee. The 'Cop' O' Sullivan tournament which takes place every year around St Patricks weekend brings to gether all the community for a fun day of soccer with the local publicans organising teams for the day. It is an opportunity to bring together some of the greats from yesterryear and some that perhaps didn't realise they had such an appetite for the game. Young and old, male and female participate on the day.

Mikey 'Dubs' McInerney

Michael McInerney who passed away in 2007 was a member of the club since he moved to Sixmilebridge in 1977 from Dublin. He was involved in underage and junior teams and was also a club trustee. Mike won Clubman of the Year in 2003. He always lent a helping hand where he could, gave his time selflessly, was a friend to all.


 

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