Trapattoni delights soccer fans at Cahir Park AFC's Centenary Ball

Republic of Ireland Soccer Manager Giovanni Trapattoni didn't let the icy weather conditions last Friday night prevent him from helping Cahir Park AFC celebrate its 100th anniversary in style.

Republic of Ireland Soccer Manager Giovanni Trapattoni didn't let the icy weather conditions last Friday night prevent him from helping Cahir Park AFC celebrate its 100th anniversary in style.

The Italian soccer legend overcame the bad road conditions to make it to Cahir House Hotel where he was special guest at the soccer club's centenary ball.

Mr Trapattoni along with FAI Chief Executive John Delaney and FAI Communications Director Peter Sherrard were accorded a standing ovation from the 300 guests when they made their grand entrance behind a lone piper to the ballroom festooned in black and white balloons.

John Delaney was in great oratorical form and regaled the packed ballroom with anecdotes from first goals for sons to unlikely international substitutes.

He also announced some good news for Cahir Park AFC.

There were also fine speeches from Centenary Year Chairman Billy Purtill, from secretary Ger Halley and from Paddy Pollard of the Munster Football Association.

Martin O'Hanlon, General Secretary of the SFAI, made a presentation to Billy Purtill in honour of Cahir Park's long and proud involvement in Irish schoolboy football.

The night, however, belonged to Giovanni Trapattoni, who signed autographs and had photos taken with fans during the function.

The crowd hung on his every word. He jointly cut a cake marking Cahir AFC's 100 years with the Club's Centenary Chairman Billy Purtill and was presented with a bowl carved by a local craftsman from wood taken from Cahir Park.

While occasionally things got lost in translation, it was very obvious that Mr Trapattoni immensely enjoyed his whistle-stop visit to Clerihan and Cahir before leaving to prepare for an early morning flight back to Milan.

He was delighted with the reaction of the capacity crowds in both places, who showed such respect for a manager, who has won ten leagues in four different countries.

No stone was left unturned to make the ball a memorable night for all present.

Cahir Park AFC has paid tribute to the guests from all over Ireland as well as England, France, and, of course Italy, who made such a great effort in the bad weather to attend the ball.

MC Phil Blake thanked those from neighbouring leagues and other local clubs, who joined Cahir Park AFC in celebrating its centenary at the ball.

The ball was the culmination of a year of celebrations to mark 100 years of junior soccer at Cahir Park.

During the year, Cahir Park AFC hosted golf outings, family days, visits from dignitaries, FAI and Munster Junior Cup games, visits from Airtricity League teams, paralympic teams and veterans from abroad.

Mass was celebrated at the clubhouse for deceased members, there was a Council civic reception and the honouring of the Club's great servants.

Cahir Park AFC also published a Centenary Calendar and launched "Cameos of a Century", a pictorial tribute to the Club's stars of the past.

Meanwhile, the following were spot prize winners at the Centenary Ball: Rosie O'Donoghue-Collins won a hamper of wine from Coopers Off-Licence, Christy O'Donoghue won a voucher from Cahir House Hotel, Catherine Purtill was recipient of the bottle of brandy sponsored by Keith Edward's taxi service, Eileen McLoughlin won a meal for two at the Shamrock Lounge, Fran Simpson took home the Dolan's SuperValu Hamper while Breda Harpur was awarded a voucher from Duneske Leisure

Centre.

Congratulations also to Michael Burke, winner of the €250 Mr. Mister voucher.