about b and g motors

The Garryowen club was first formed in 1937, but alas the club fell by the wayside after only two years. The secretary then was a Mr McAvidie from Co. Mayo. Also prominent in that first club were a Cork man, John Bermingham and Mr C. Casey from Swinford, Co. Mayo. One of the London GAAs best supporters, Billy Mills from Waterford, played with that 1937 Garryowen team.  He went on to play for the great Bros. Pearce’s team of pre war years and after the war became one of the pillars upon which the current Naomh Mhuire football club was built.

It was in 1948 that the existing club was formed. The club was closely linked to the Garryowen dance club in Hammersmith. Jim Conway from Cavan became the first Chairman of the club. He was supported running the club by other founder members such as John Bermingham (Cork), Vince Golden (Roscommon), John Byme (Donegal) and Jim Nicholson (Sligo).  

A team of players was assembled and training commenced. Everything was going well and the club were ready for its first match. The first fixture for the club took place on a pitch in Hounslow which now forms part of the site for Heathrow Airport. The team was full of hope and confidence going into the match, but this proved to be misplaced as Garryowen lost by 0-9 to 0-2. Many more defeats were to follow in 1948 and by the end of that first year the club hadn't won a single game.    

1949 was to prove a much more successful year for the club. Garryowen were now playing successfully in the Junior League, a competition that they went on to win. This success was the springboard that Garryowen needed to build a stronger team and to attract better players. This duly occurred, allowing Garryowen to go on and win its first Championship in 1950. The feat was repeated in 1951 with the club retaining the Junior Championship trophy they had won the previous year. Amongst the players who fashioned those early successes were:-    

J Brown (Carlow); J Joyee (Kerry); T O' Hara (Sligo); V & J Fitzsimons (Cavan); C Hazel (Cork); T Fallon (Wexford); D Leen (Kerry) P Fitzsimons (Wexford); J Campbell (Louth); M Kelly (Kildare); M Whitlow (Leitrim); J Nicholson (Sligo); J Byme (Donegal); T Hally (Sligo); G Joyee (Kerry); P Quinn (Cork) and V Golden (Roscommon) who was captain and who eventually went on to become the father figure of the club.  

By this stage Garryowen were promoted to Senior status and had become one of the more established Gaelic clubs in London. The club continued to attract good players and all the ground work was finally rewarded in 1956 with the club winning its first London Senior Football Championship.  The Championship was won again in 1958 as well as the League in 1958 and 1959 too. Garryowen had truly arrived as a Senior club in London GAA circles. Players prominent through this era were:- E Duignan (Meath); M Glennon (Galway); B O'Reilly (Meath); J Halliday (Galway); J McHale (Meath); S Diggins (Galway); S Murphy (Cavan); G Geraghty (Roscommon); T Crofton (Wicklow); L MeLoughlin (Donegal); T Dowling (Kildare); K Maguire (Meath); S Quinn (Cork); M Nally (Mayo); D Waters (Mayo); L Fitzgerald (Kerry); G Brennan (Laois); R Gregan (Clare); F Ryan (Waterford); E Conway (Mayo) and R Crozier (Down). Some of these players were later to become the base upon which the Garryowen Club would continue to grow in stature.  

The Garryowen club was seen at its strongest during the late 1960's and the early 1970's. This was due in no small part to the sterling efforts of the then secretary, Frank Duignan from Co. Meath. Frank was widely regarded as one of the great officials ever to be involved with a GAA club in London. His drive and organisational ability were the main reasons that Garryowen were able to field successful teams in all three grades of London football in the late sixties.  It was during this period that the club had regular trips back to Ireland for games against clubs there too. Garryowen always had a huge squad available for such trips with all members of the club keen to be involved in any event involving the club.


 By no small coincidence, this period also provided Garryowen with the majority of the trophies it has won over the years. The Senior Championship was plundered twice in 1969 and 1972, The Senior League in 1960 and 1969, The Tipperary Cup in 1967,1969 and 1972, The Intermediate Championship and League in 1966 and the Junior Championship in 1964. However the most significant win of all in this period was the Championship of Great Britain in 1970.  

Players involved during this period included:-
M Nally (Mayo), M McClafferty (Donegal), J Toner Armagh), P Pritchard (Cavan), T McDonagh (Sligo), J Madden (Roscommon), J Frain (Roscommon), T Roche (Galway), P Russell (Cavan), S Meagher(Longford), S O'Sullivan (Cork), E Glennon (Galway), D MeNcill (Antrim), P Bradley (Westmeath), K Kelly (Westmeath), P Colohan (Galway), S Kane (Galway), R Sherlock (Sligo), C Patten (Mayo), D Sheehan (Kerry), J Mannion (Sligo), K Higgins (Westmeath), P Mockler (Roscommon), T McPartland (Armagh), N Ussher (Galway), P Cahill (Tipperary), V McKeown (Leitrim), E Devlin (Derry), M Gilmartin (Sligo), S lgoe (Sligo), 0 Geraghty (Galway), M Long (Cork) and P O'Gara (Roscommon).  



These players would have to be acknowledged as being the most successful group of players assembled together by Garryowen during the last fifty years. The fact that so many of the above players are still involved with the Garryowen club goes some way to explaining the commitment that these men gave to team spirit and ultimately the success of the team on the field of play. The majority of these players are regularly seen supporting club events and turning up to support the current team at matches.  

After a few lean years in the late 1970's, Garryowen emerged as Senior Championship winners for the 5th time in the 1980 final. The Garryowen team had been underdogs all year, but came through in the end. John Frain, Scan lgoe and Seamus Meagher were survivors from the previous Championship winning team in 1972. The team responsible for that last victory was:-
S O'Malley (Galway); J Frain (Roscommon); E Dalton (Meath); P Pritchard (Cavan); M Cummins (Mayo); M Colleary (Sligo); J Harrington (Cork); P lgoe (Sligo); M Mullins (Galway); G Donnelly (Tyrone); S Igoe (Sligo); P Donaghy (Tyrone); S Meagher (Longford); M O'Donnell (Limerick) and J Crummie(Down).

Garryowen continued to be prominent throughout the 1980's without achieving much success. The only other trophy won by the club in this period was the inaugural Reserve Championship in 1982. The club were also beaten in the 1988 Championship final.
From 1989 into the early 1990's, the club was at a very low ebb. During this time Scan lgoe worked very hard to ensure that Garryowen continued to exist and field a team in the Championship. 1993 proved to be a very poor year, with the club being demoted to Division 2 of the league for not being able to field a team in enough league games that season.

Garryowen Officers for 1998
It was at this point that Paddy Quinn and Sean Igoe started a campaign to get the club back on track. A squad of players was assembled and the task of winning the League was targeted. Players trained well and were soon winning plenty of league games. The club reached the Championship semi-final before losing to St Brendan's by a point. In the League final, Garryowen ran out easy winners against St Theresa's. This was the first, and so far only, trophy that Garryowen has won in the 1990's.

Since the club's promotion back to Division 1 in 1995, Garryowen has consolidated its position as one of the better Gaelic teams in London. The 1997 Championship run, again culminating in semi-final defeat by St Brendan's was very encouraging.  The squad from last year has been added to for the 1998 campaign and training is in full swing for our attempt to increase the trophy haul of Garryowen G.F.C.

2000 Squad

Garryowen GFC.