With the new season kicking off this week,’s KEVIN FAGAN has taken an irreverent trip down memory lane to construct a Bohs Cult XI of the last 20 years. In the first of five articles, we take a look at his eccentric goalkeeper and full-back combination.

Some housekeeping first: In order to qualify for a spot in my Cult XI, players must have played for Bohs between 1994 and 2014. So, for those of you squealing about the non-inclusion of Johnny Fullam and Barry Murphy – the 1980s one, not the cross-shy keeper – them’s the rules!

Also, bona fide legends like Jackie Jameson, Kevin Hunt, Glen Crowe etc are exempt.

Members of this XI have to be colourful, memorable characters – think Paul Byrne rather than Pat Byrne. Get in touch via Twitter and Facebook, and put forward your own suggestions too – this isn’t a definitive list!

GOALKEEPER: Ashley Bayes

Having been told of the consistent heroics of Dermot O’Neill, my Bohs lifetime has been peppered with a set of varied goalkeepers who have come and gone.

Excluding the outrageously superb Brian Murphy – an undoubted starter in any all-time Bohs XI – the keeper who made the biggest impression in his short time at the club was Ashley Bayes.

Under Stephen Kenny, Bayes played every league game of the title-winning 2002/3 team and immediately became a fan favourite.

Celebrating every goal like he had scored it himself, Bayes’ thick English accent and propensity to shout at his defence as much as the entire Jodi Stand were all endearing attributes.

CLASSIC MOMENT: Undoubtedly his ridiculous save from Ollie Cahill against Shels in the title-winning game at Tolka Park. Check it out on YouTube – that header was a clear goal from the moment it left Cahill’s strangely-shaped head. Bayes managed to scoop it out from behind him in an amazing piece of goalkeeping. An iconic Bohs moment.

APRÈS BOHS: After losing his place to Shay Kelly at the start of the 2003 summer season, Bayes signed for Conference team Woking and went on to play for Grays Athletic, Crawley Town, Stevenage, Hornchurch and Basingstoke Town. He’s the current goalkeeping coach at AFC Wimbledon.

TERRACE CHANT: The lads in F and G had a go at a Bayes chant which went along to the tune of Happy Days. “Sunday, Monday, Ashley Bayes…” but it never really took off. Not a bad effort though.

HONOURABLE MENTION: Mick Dempsey – the squeaky-voiced shot-stopper from the mid to late nineties was always a favourite of mine. He looked and sounded like a small mouse, and his constant refrain of “win the header” was infectious.


Although Avery played just 40 league games for Bohs between during two spells at the club, he could almost qualify for a legends list, such was the fan love for the Trindad and Tobago international.

John could play left-full or centre-half, was prone to the occasional mistake and was well-able to bite into tackles despite his laid-back West Indies background. I vividly remember him making his debut alongside a player with probably the most repeatable name in Bohs history – Austin Huggins. Just rolls off the tongue.

CLASSIC MOMENT: Amazingly, John didn’t win any trophies with Bohs in either of his two spells (1999-2000, 2001-2002). My favourite moment of his was during a game in an as usual rainy, freezing Bray. He pretty much cut Maurice Farrell in half with a really dreadful challenge. You might say that wasn’t a good thing, but to me, Maurice Farrell was probably the most irritating man in Western Europe at the time, so I was delighted.

Bohs were 2-1 down when Avery marched off, but were rescued by a Paul Byrne chip from the halfway line. Some argue about whether it crossed the line before Glen Crowe tapped in the rebound. I’m telling you it was over the line, and the celebrations were some of the wildest ever seen in the Carlisle Grounds!

APRÈS BOHS: After winning the FAI Cup with Longford in 2003, Avery carved out an excellent career in the MLS, playing for New England Revolution, Miami FC, and DC United. Possibly the most-capped Bohs player ever with 65 appearances for Trinidad & Tobago, John was sadly sent off against Sweden in the 2006 World Cup finals, which meant he missed a marquee game against England.

TERRACE CHANT: Two variations here. The classic “Avery Avery Avery – John John John” parody of “oggie oggie oggie” was replaced by a more calypso-ey “Avery John John John” in his second spell. A vivid European away memory is a 13-year-old me, lying awake in a Halmstad hotel room with a gaggle of fans chanting in the bar below about John for a solid hour.


A gritty left-full, Brunton arrived at the beginning of the ill-fated 1998-99 season alongside Joe McGrath’s New Zealand “imports” (there are other words for the Harry NGatas and Dean Dodds of this world!).

Brunton’s hoof-laden career rather fittingly began at Stoke, where he signed as an apprentice in 1991.

For anyone who remembers him, he would have fit right in with the Tony Pulis era too. He wasn’t fond of the ol’ tiki-taka was our Robbie.

There was a chap who used to sit in front of me – in what would now be Block E – who used to count the number of times Brunton would hoof the ball high into the air. However, he was a very reliable defender, and became a regular under Roddy Collins once Joe McGrath’s autumn of misery was cut short.

CLASSIC MOMENT: Brunton used to love – and I mean love – games against Rovers. Despite being in the middle of a satisfying 16 years of not winning anything, Rovers players used to lord it around like they had just won 4 in a row. Robbie wouldn’t allow that. His meaty challenges would fire up the crowd and got him into an almighty scrap with Derek McGrath on one occasion.

APRÈS BOHS: Robbie went on to play for Kilkenny City, Dundalk, Monaghan United, Newry Town and Cliftonville after Dalymount. He picked up a healthy 13 red cards in his career!

TERRACE CHANT: Brunton wasn’t the sort of player you made a chant about. Too old school. However, the aforementioned chap in the stand who counted his hoofs used to call him ‘Boom Boom Brunton’. Nice ring to it.

HONOURABLE MENTION: Tommy Byrne was an impish full-back with an amazing left foot. Mark Dempsey was an injury-plagued winger who signed from Barry Town in Wales,  made a lot of his appearances at left-back – and was rumoured to have worn a wig.

Do you agree with Kevin’s choices? Comment on our Facebook page, or let us know on Twitter @bfcdublin, and put forward your own goalkeeper and full-back cult heroes of the last 20 years.

NEXT UP: Centre-backs.

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