Shamrock Rovers FC was founded in Ringsend, Dublin in 1899 and is Ireland’s most successful football club.
In its 120-year history, Shamrock Rovers Football Club (SRFC) won the League of Ireland 17 times and the FAI Cup 25 times. The green-and-white “hoops” also won the all-Ireland Inter-city Cup seven times. Moreover, Shamrock Rovers provided the most national team players out of all Irish clubs.
In the 1950s, after winning several league and cup titles, the Rovers became the first Irish team to play in a European Cup. In 1957, the Dublin-based club faced Manchester United. SRFC lost to Manchester 9-2 on aggregate.
In the 1960s, the club won a record of six back-to-back FAI Cup titles. While the 1970s were not a successful decade for Rovers, in the 1980s, the hoops won four league titles in a row.
In the 1990s, Rovers lifted the league trophy only once in the 1993-94 season. SRFC fans then had to wait until 2010 to win the league again.
In 2011, the hoops became the first Irish club to reach the group stage of a European cup after beating Partizan Belgrade in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa League. The year prior, Rovers lost to Juventus 3-0 on aggregate in the third round of the Europa League qualifiers.
In 2019, the hoops managed to lift the FAI Cup trophy for the 25th time, which makes them the record titleholder.
The Tallaght Stadium
From 1926 to 1987, Shamrock Rovers played their home games in Glenmalure Park stadium. However, after it was sold to property developers, the hoops played their home games on various grounds across Dublin until they finally settled in Tallaght Stadium, South Dublin, in 2009.
Tallaght Stadium has a capacity of 8,000. However, it has seen 10,900 spectators pass through its turnstiles when temporary stands were constructed for a Rovers’ match against Real Madrid.
The biggest league attendance took place during a Dublin derby against Bohemians FC when 7,026 fans came to Tallaght.
The Dublin Derby
Shamrock Rovers’ biggest rival is Bohemians FC, commonly referred to as “Bohs.” As a result, the Dublin derby has emerged as the biggest game in the League of Ireland Premier Division.
The intense rivalry between the two clubs means derby are heavy-duty on the pitch and off the pitch. While the 6,000-odd that venture into the Tallaght may not match the 50,000+ at most big European derbies, the atmosphere is always electric.
Tifos, flares, and chants throughout the game give you the impression you are in Italy or South America if you are standing with the SRFC supporters.
While historically less successful than Rover, the Bohs still manage to draw a substantial supporter base, which makes this derby one of Europe’s hidden gems.
SRFC Ultras Bring Flare(s) to Irish Football
The SRFC Ultras were founded in 2001 by Shamrock Rovers supporters to bring more noise and colour to the stands. The Ultras quickly managed to establish themselves as the leading Rovers supporters’ group and were seen and heard in stadiums across Ireland.
The group looked towards their counterparts in Europe and South America for inspiration. This resulted in the use of pyrotechnics, flags, banners, and choreographies.
The group evolved and developed its own style of support. You will now find an attractive mix of European ultras culture and British supporting style on the stands at Tallaght.
The SRFC Ultras are an apolitical supporters group but they strongly oppose discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation. The ultras’ allegiance is to their club, their colours, and other SRFC fans. Additionally, the ultras also publish a fanzine, called And If I Should Falter.
If you are planning a trip to Ireland, make sure you catch a Rovers game. If you are going specifically to watch football, make sure you pick a weekend when the Dublin derby is on. It’s a cracker!