06 July 1980. Bob Marley performed live at Dalymount Park. He was just one of many rock legends to play there – before him Dalymount had hosted Thin Lizzy and The Boomtown Rats, and after him would come artists as diverse as Meatloaf, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sonic Youth and Faith No More. Within a year Marley would be dead. Who could imagine that nearly 40 years later the event would be commemorated on a Bohemians away jersey?
When I saw the image of the jersey during the week I was hugely impressed. I was busy with work and so didn’t read any detail about it. The next day there was an image doing the rounds on Bray forums of a player holding up the new Bray away jersey, which had Hosier in place of Marley. Guess what, I thought it was real, and that this was a new FAI initiative and that every club was going to have one! April Fool in October!
I quickly caught up with reality when I had time to read some of the comments on the Bray thread. The Hosier jersey was a fake, a joke based on the Marley jersey which was real. Or was it? It turns out the image isn’t actually Marley, but a dead ringer [I wonder did Meatloaf play that when he appeared at Dalymount?!] for him. I’m sure if Marley had still been alive he’d have given his permission for a genuine image, given that he was a huge soccer fan.
Let’s just imagine that there was a real FAI scheme to put a music icon’s image on every League of Ireland club’s away jersey. It could be either a native of the town or city, or somebody who had another connection [like having played a concert there, or recorded an album there]. Who would you pick for your club?
Dolores O’Riordan would be a good choice for the Limerick FC jersey. The Undertones for Derry City. Take your pick with Cork; there’s The Frank & Walters or maybe The Sultans Of Ping FC, to name 2 bands for Cork that I’m a fan of.
Wanderers would probably have the best choice of all League of Ireland clubs. I’d leave Hosier off the jersey. Bono used to live in a Martello Tower that overlooked the Carlisle Grounds. He even had the top cut off it so he could see the action better.
Then there was the Arcadia Ballroom that was situation across the road from the stadium. Many, many greats played there. All the showbands, and in the early Sixties on their way up to mega stardom the likes of The Kinks and The Who played there. I know this much to be fact based on my parents having attended. Others will tell you The Beatles and The Rolling Stones graced the Arcadia stage too, but I’d have to get the independent adjudicators in to verify that. At least nobody’s claiming Elvis was ever there!
Maybe at Bray we could forget the music angle altogether. If we want an image of something to represent the town then a pair of boxing gloves won’t infringe any copyright, would let everyone know we are where Katie Taylor hails from, and serve as a symbol for the fighting spirit of the club. Hopefully that fighting spirit can be harnessed to ensure a swift return to the top flight.