14 December 2021

Celtic Legends Launch Sheriff YC Football Club’s 50th Anniversary

Pictures by Shane O’Neill, Coalesce.

Event supported by club’s main sponsor Dublin Port

Two Celtic Football Club legends, John Hartson and Brian McClair, were on hand on Friday to officially launch Sheriff YC Football Club’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, which will take place next year. The pair also made the exciting announcement that on June 4th, to mark the anniversary, Sheriff YC FC will host a match at Home Farm against a Celtic Legends XI, sponsored by Dublin Port. 

Hartson and McClair, who between them won four Scottish league titles and scored over 200 goals for Celtic during their respective spells at the club, then took part in a lively, free Q&A event in Lloyds Bar on Amiens Street to promote the upcoming Anniversary. 

Next June the club, founded in 1972, will take on a Celtic line-up featuring Hartson and McClair, who will be joined by Alan Stubbs, Bobby Petta, Mark Burchill, among others, at Home Farm’s ground in Whitehall. The festivities will then continue at a dinner at the Bonnington Hotel that evening, where all the stars will be in attendance. Tickets are available by emailing info@sheriffyc.ie or calling Thomas Daly on 0877912810 and will cost €60, and a table at the event will cost €600.  Proceeds raised from ticket sales will go back into supporting the club and its teams. 

Welshman John Hartson initially made his name in England with Luton Town, before establishing himself as an elite marksman with Arsenal and then West Ham United. He moved to Celtic in the summer of 2001 and enjoyed the most prosperous period of his career, scoring over 100 goals for the club and winning three league titles, as well as the individual accolade of PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year in 2005. Hartson also made 51 appearances for Wales, scoring 14 goals. In his retirement he fought a much-publicised battle with testicular cancer, from which he made a full recovery. He is now a regular fixture on the punditry circuit, providing matchday analysis for Premier and BT Sport. 

A native of Lanarkshire in Scotland, Brian McClair began his career at Motherwell before signing for Celtic in 1983. He spent a fruitful four seasons there, making 204 appearances in all competitions and scored 126 goals. He helped the club to the Scottish Cup in 1985 and the Scottish Premier Division in 1986 before moving on to Manchester United. McClair enjoyed a decorated 11 seasons in Manchester, making 471 appearances for the Red Devils and winning 14 trophies. He enjoyed a brief stint at Motherwell before retiring. Internationally, he played 30 times for Scotland, including at the 1992 European Championships. McClair remained in football, working as Blackburn Rovers assistant manager in the 98/99 season before serving as the Director of Manchester United’s Youth Academy from 2006 to 2015. 

Sheriff YC FC, or “The Hoops”, which plays its home games in Fairview Park, shares its nickname and green and white jersey with Celtic, and they have enjoyed similar success on the pitch. Competing in the Leinster Senior League, the club’s senior team has won the league six time since 2009, while also winning three FAI Junior Cups, three Leinster Junior Cups and one Tom Hand Memorial Cup in the same timeframe. 

Speaking at the launch, Sheriff YC Chairman Eugene (Hugo) Richardson said, “We’re thrilled to welcome the Celtic Legends to Sheriff YC in June 2022. This will be a momentous day for the club and a fitting way to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and club members over the last 50 years. It’s also thanks to local businesses like Dublin Port that we’ve been able to continue our mission of providing sport for young people in the North Inner City for the past 50 years”

McClair said, “We were delighted to be asked to launch Sheriff YC’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. Everyone is obviously well aware of the incredibly close connection between Irish Celtic fans and Celtic Football Club, so it was an easy decision to get involved when asked.

“We are looking forward to a great day next summer, a competitive match, and a good night afterwards in the Bonnington! Good luck to Sheriff for the rest of this season and we’ll see you in June.”

Dublin Port Chief Executive Eamonn O’Reilly said, “Dublin Port has been a proud sponsor of Sheriff YC for a number of years and we are so happy to be supporting them as they celebrate this milestone in their history. 

“Partnering with historic local clubs such as Sheriff allows us to create connections within these communities which are invaluable to us as we operate side by side with them. The match against the Celtic Legends next summer should be a great spectacle and is a great way to mark the club’s big day.”

Pictured are Brian McClair, Remi Whelan, aged 7. Picture by Shane O’Neill, Coalesce.

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