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Glory, money woes and controversy of Derry City's colourful past

Published 31/07/2015

Silverware joy: Kevin Deery lifts the FAI Cup in 2012
Silverware joy: Kevin Deery lifts the FAI Cup in 2012

Derry City are one of the most famous clubs in Irish football. Formed in 1928, they gained entry into the Irish League the following year, playing their home games at the Brandywell stadium.

They were Irish League champions in the 1964/65 season and Irish Cup winners in 1949, 1954 and 1964.

When the Troubles began, there was a reluctance from some Irish League clubs to play at the Brandywell and in 1971 the RUC ruled that the ground was unsafe for teams to travel to. This led to Derry having to play home games in Coleraine.

The next year, police ruled that the Brandywell was no more dangerous to attend than any other stadium and Derry forwarded a formal request to the football authorities to return home. The Irish League voted against the proposal and Derry decided to withdraw from the League, feeling they were being forced out.

For the next 13 years, the club played in junior football before they applied and were accepted to join the League of Ireland in the Republic in the 1985-86 season.

In the 1988-89 campaign, they won the League of Ireland, FAI Cup and League Cup.

The Candystripes also won the League of Ireland in 1996-97 and have savoured multiple FAI Cup triumphs, the last in 2012.

Off the pitch, there have been financial problems. In 2000, the club were on the verge of bankruptcy due to an unpaid tax bill. Supporters, well known and not so well known, rallied around and glamour friendlies raised money helping keep Derry afloat.

In 2009, however, the club were expelled from the League of Ireland by the FAI for breaching regulations, by holding secondary, unofficial contracts with players. That year Derry went into administration.

A new club using the "Derry City" name joined the League of Ireland in 2010 with the FAI allowing them to enter the First Division. That year they won promotion to the Premier League, where they are now.

Derry have played Irish League teams home and away in the Setanta Cup in the past decade. There was trouble after a game with Linfield at the Brandywell in 2012.

Belfast Telegraph

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