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New book recalls Ards' four-trophy season of the Seventies

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Pictured at the launch of 'The Four Trophy Season', Dessie Cathcart, Billy Nixon, Don Johnston, Ronnie McAteer, Davy Graham, Billy Humphries and Adrian Monaghan

Pictured at the launch of 'The Four Trophy Season', Dessie Cathcart, Billy Nixon, Don Johnston, Ronnie McAteer, Davy Graham, Billy Humphries and Adrian Monaghan

Pictured at the launch of 'The Four Trophy Season', Dessie Cathcart, Billy Nixon, Don Johnston, Ronnie McAteer, Davy Graham, Billy Humphries and Adrian Monaghan

1974 was unquestionably a bleak year in Northern Ireland, but Billy Humphries' sensational Ards brought a little bit of light to one small corner of the province.

In 1973/74 Humphries' Ards side were crowned champions of Ireland, winning the Blaxnit All-Ireland Cup. Not only that, they also lifted the Irish Cup, the Gold Cup and the Ulster Cup.

With players like Billy McAvoy, Billy Nixon, Ronnie McAteer, Dessie Cathcart and player/manager Humphries strutting their stuff at Castlereagh Park, the four-trophy side has become the stuff of legends along the Peninsula. Avid Ards fan and club programme editor Adrian Monaghan has committed that incredible season to print.

In a professionally published book, tiltled 'The Four Trophy Season,' Monaghan takes his readers back to the 1970s, where he takes them on a journey through Ards' most successful season.

Reflecting on the era, Ronnie McAteer said: “It means an awful lot to me that our team is still being talked about and written about in this way. It was a special team and a special era.

“I think what made this team so special was the fact that every player in the team was a different type of player. All our forwards brought something different to the table. No matter how many goals we conceded we always felt we could score more, it was as simple as that.”

Defender Billy Nixon said: “There was really only about 13 of us, so it means a lot for us to remembered in this way. People forget very quickly in football and your achievements can be forgotten about very quickly, so this book means a lot us, as it will always be there in print.

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“Adrian deserves a lot of credit for getting all 57 matches in and a few wee stories that went along with the year. It was an incredible thing to be part of and I doubt it will ever be done again by a club like Ards.”

Author Adrian Monaghan said: “Those players made it a magical season for all Ards supporters. They are still signing autographs forty years later, which show the esteem that they’re held in.

“Hopefully this book captures all of the excitement of that season and everyone finds it an enjoyable read.”

“Of course it’s nice to have written this book and I hope that it can turn a small profit for the club but the real reason that we’re here, in my opinion, is the players - the guys who have given us all of the memories.”

The 218-page book details the 57 matches played that season across every competition, with thoughts from the players involved and viewpoints from a number of supporters who witnessed those games first hand.
 

The book is on sale now for £14 on eBay and at the following outlets:

Ards FC Sports Club, Regent Street

Topspot, Frances Street

Sportsbeat, High Street

Spar, Upper Greenwell Street

It can also be obtained by contacting Adrian himself on 07979 614674 or email adrianmonaghan@ aol.com.


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