A BRIEF HISTORY OF LEICESTER CELTIC
Leicester Celtic Football Club was founded in 1967 by Michael Flaherty and Father C. F. Lee, then a curate in Rathgar parish. In return for financial assistance from the Parish, the name of a local street was to be used in the club name. Hence... Leicester Avenue resulted in the name Leicester Celtic. The similarity to an English league team was purely coincidental. In our first season we fielded one team at under 17 level. The following season two teams at under 14 and under 18 represented the Club.
The season of 1969/70 saw the first real expansion when we fielded five teams. Through the good offices of Father Lee we obtained use of Mill Hill Fathers in Dartry for our Saturday home matches. Our Sunday venue was Bushy Park. The Club continued to develop until 1975 when we moved our base to Marley Park in Rathfarnham. The simple logical reason was that our catchment area of Terenure, Rathmines and South Circular Road was no longer providing players in sufficient numbers. It's a tribute to the strength and dedication of the club officials that the move resulted in an expansion of teams to an average of twelve, drawing its members from Churchtown, Dundrum and Ballinteer.
Mini leagues for very young players started in 1977, and we became the pioneers of the small sided game with the introduction of our "Six-a-Side" in 1986. Almost every year since 1970 we have travelled to England at easter to watch Premiership clubs in action and to play against local teams. The cost of the first trip was £13 per player.
In the 1980s we moved to our current home base of Loreto Park in Rathfarnham. Three Rock Rovers and St. Tiernan's Community School provided our training facilities until 2003 when an investment of €1 million saw Leicester Celtic build our own All Weather Playing Facility and Clubhouse beside our pitches in Loreto. This investment now means we have some of the best facilities in the country available to us.
Since 1967 we have achieved a considerable amount thanks to the dedication and effort of many people. The summer of 2002 saw Leicester Celtic's first player play in the World Cup when Damien Duff graced the tournament for the Republic of Ireland. Richard Sadlier joined Damien Duff and John Coady as former Leicester Celtic players to achieve Senior International recognition for Ireland. Other ex-Leicester players play football professionally in Ireland and in England. Click here to see their profiles.
In 2009 we entered into an agreement with Swansea City whereby we will benefit from their professional coaching expertise on several occasions each year. In addition, our teams will have the opportunity to visit Swansea and enjoy their facilities for coaching sessions and matches. Swansea City are a progressive club, promoted to the Premier League for the 2011/2012 Season. We look forward to the day when a Leicester Celtic players turns out for Swansea City.