Carrick United's Team of 50 Years were honoured at the 50th anniversary dinner dance.
Carrick United FC members marked the Club's 50th Anniversary at a gala dinner dance in the Carraig Hotel last Saturday night that was attended by 160 guests.
The function hall was filled on the night and the Club colours of green and white hoops adorned the tables and chairs.
Players, past and present along with committee and management members proudly wore their specially tailored ties and jackets with the Carrick Utd emblem as all settled into a night of presentations, honouring teams, players and individuals of the past 50 years, who significantly contributed to the success story of Carrick United.
The Club has produced players who received International caps at Schoolboy, Youth, Junior, Olympic and Under 21 level.
Players have also represented Munster, won Tipperary Sports Star Awards, Canon Hayes Awards, Waterford Referee Personality of the Year Awards, UCD and FAS Scholarships.
Club players have progressed to play in the League of Ireland and some have played at a high level in England and Belgium.
The Club has received recognition from the FAI and other bodies for its work in the community. The list of successes and honours is endless. A video charting the early days of the Club was screened paying tribute to all who realized the dream. It followed the Club's development, its players and members and their successes over the years. The video also covered the various pitch locations before the club purchased the lands at Coolnamuck, Carrickbeg in 1995, now ‘Tom Drohan Park’ named after one of the Club’s founder members.
Chairman P J Torpey welcomed everyone and commended the ’50 Year Celebration Committee’ on their preparations for this landmark night. He recalled the history of the Club and paid tribute to those who drove the Club on in the early days of the ‘60s and ‘70s when it wasn’t easy to be playing soccer.
Before official presentations to players and teams, tributes were paid to members who had passed away. Glasses were raised to them and to the three men "dear to Carrick Utd.", Tom Drohan, PJ O’Neill and Johnny Fleming, to whom the Club owed a great debt.
Trophy presentations were made to Carrick Utd Player of the Year Premier Division Jack Doherty; Senior Ladies Player of the Year, Michelle King; Player of the Year 1A Division Noel O’Donnell; Player of the Year 2B Division Dan Roworth and Player of the Year Youths A Noel Obilor.
A special Life Time Achievement Award was presented to Richard Friend for his trojan work in many roles as manager, treasurer, committee member, secretary, PRO and photographer. He was praised for the sourcing of capital through sports development grants over the years. Richard worked tirelessly collating information and data, filling forms and meeting officials to secure funding for the club which has amounted to €422,000 from 2000 to the present day.
A welcomed announcement at the dinner was the successful purchase of 1.97 acres of land from Tipperary Co. Council what will facilitate a 3rd playing pitch for Carrick Utd.
The deal was signed last Friday, September 7. Tributes were paid to local Cllr. Kieran Burke (FF) who had worked hard behind the scenes to secure the lands. Meanwhile, work has started on the new spectator stand at Carrick Utd's grounds, which should be completed in 8-10 weeks.
Presentations were made to each player from the Junior Cup winning team of 2008 when Carrick Utd. beat Killester by 2 – 1 in the final in Waterford marking one of the biggest achievements in the Club’s history.
Also honoured were the ‘Team of 50 Years’, meticulously selected by a committee of five people. It was a huge honour for the 16 players selected and a proud day for them and their families.
Before settling into a wonderful meal and evening of music and celebrations thanks were given to all sponsors of the Club, to the players, teams and coaches, mentors, selectors, committee members, to all the volunteers who give their up their time and to all the parents and families who are the driving force behind the Club's young players.
Thanks were also expressed to the Carraig for their great service and food, to the band Gerry Walsh and Dallas, to gifted club ‘tech man’, photographer and sports writer Eamonn Russell, to guests Waterford referees Paul Butler, John Purcell and John Foskin and to everyone in the community who support the Club and contribute to its fundraisers.