Bohemian AFC: Official Club History 1890-1976 by Tony Reid


My dad was many things – a husband, a father, the Bohemian programme editor and club historian, and Ireland’s leading soccer statistician, an accolade he richly deserved.

Armed with a vast arsenal of stats, he was the go-to person when anyone – especially the main football correspondents of the day – needed to know something or have something confirmed.

And he had all the answers, too. ‘Has anyone ever scored a faster hat-trick?’ ‘When did such-and-such a player/team last do this or that?’ ‘Did this or that ever happen before?’

Years of research in The National Library and Pearse Street Library meant that he had all the answers at his fingertips. In a pre-internet world, he was your Google search engine! And he was happy to share his knowledge, to impart all that he knew.

He also had an unbelievable command of the English language through his mastering of Latin root words. He developed his vocabulary this way. Knowing the Latin roots was the key to learning multiple words. It enriched his vocabulary, it enhanced his writing. But he never used a complicated word where a simple one would suffice.

He could also speak some Italian, had an interest in meteorology and progressed to the Leinster Senior League as a referee.

He was a lifelong fan of Manchester United and was at Wembley as a supporter when they won the European Cup final in 1968.

He was also insistent that he was from Wicklow, not Dublin! This was due to the fact that he was reared in Annamoe by his grandparents. At the time, Annamoe was believed to be the highest village in Ireland. At least that is what he claimed! He was proud of that fact.

Most of all, people loved him for his many puns and one-liners. He was engaging, gregarious and sharp-witted. He loved to research, to learn. But his biggest love of all was Bohemians.

Aged 42, he became a full-time journalist. Prior to that he had earned his living as a van driver. Football was his hobby before it became his job.

I will always remember my dad beavering away furiously at his typewriter, the levers of the keys caked in thick layers of cigarette ash. Chiefly in the service of Bohemians. For the love of the club.

He was only 52 when he died on 23 March 1988.

I am sure he would be thrilled to know that there is now a digital version of the official club history that he wrote all of those years ago. He would also be immensely proud that his work lives on for other generations of the club’s fans to read and enjoy.

And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, that one small head could carry all he knew.

Read ‘Bohemian AFC: Official Club History 1890-1976′ by Tony Reid (PDF)

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