On Friday the 23rd September in The Drake, Crosshaven, author Bill Keating launched his book, Crosshaven AFC - A History of the Early Years 1898-1979, in front of a packed bar filled with Crosshaven legends.
Bill is a Crosshaven native, a lifelong supporter of Crosshaven AFC and a former committee member, who left in the early 70’s to pursue a career in Dublin where he has lived ever since. Now happily retired though, Bill was looking for something to do and he decided to float the idea of a history book to the club. His idea was met with enthusiasm and the venture began.
Two and half years were spent gathering information through online newspapers, old minute books, old match reports and by chatting to ex-players/historians. Aided by his brother Edmond, Mick Murphy and Syd Venner the book started to take shape before eventually being finished in June of this year.
Crosshaven of course is Cork’s Oldest club by a long way, founded in 1898 the original committee contained a Frank Graham, a publican formerly of Graham’s Hotel which of course is now the Drake, the venue for the launch. Crosshaven had some major successes over the years including two AOH Cup wins, two unbeaten MSL Premier Division campaigns although incredibly this only yielded one title. Of the 1972 AOH Cup winning side, 8 were in attendance at the book launch including former Irish Junior International, David O’Driscoll who had travelled down from Dublin.
It was wall to wall local legends in the Drake including, to name a few, Eddie and Donal O’Donovan, Willie and Peter Lee, Buzz O’Connell, Jim Mulcahy, Leo West, Kieran and Peter McGovern, Billy and Syd Venner, Martin McCarthy, Liam Ring, Eamon O’Donovan, Mick Murphy, Curly O’Keeffe, John Middleton, Dominic Meade and Bobby Tambling.
Crosshaven PRO Seamus Murphy congratulated Bill on the book and stressed the importance of recording the hard work and achievements of those who came before. He also stated that 2023 sees the club enter its 125th year in existence and the book will help kick start the celebrations. Seamus also thanked all those who contributed to the book and made a presentation to Bill before handing the mic over to a clearly proud Bill Keating.
Bill thanked those who were in attendance, some of whom he hadn’t seen in 50 years! He thanked the club for their support in getting the book printed and his family for pushing him to see it to fruition. He thanked John McHale of the Irish Examiner for allowing the reproduction of several pictures and The Irish News Archive their support. Surrounded by family and football friends Bill spent the remainder of the evening reminiscing, signing books and standing for photographs.
The book can be ordered by contacting the club through their Facebook or Twitter pages or by contacting any committee member. Priced at €10 it’s a perfect stocking filler.