?Special Report!? Marlboro Continue to be a Force After 30 Years in Football!

✍? Finbarr Buckley

MARLBORO TRUST celebrate thirty years in the Cork Business League with a function at South’s on the Mall tonight Saturday, October 12th writes Finbarr Buckley.

The league’s second-oldest club has enjoyed phenomenal success since joining at the beginning of the 1989/90 season and is currently joint second with CIE Athletic in the roll of honour behind 29-time winners Postal Workers.

It seems a long time now and over 800 competitive games and fifteen trophies later that Trust under their original name of McSweeney’s Bacon suffered a crushing 10-1 defeat in the shield to Naval Services, thirty years to the day, at Haulbowline on Sunday, October 14th 1989 in only their second match. On joining the CBSL the club’s association with it stretched back to the mid-sixties when founder members Tommy Hull, Seamus Galvin, Tony Byron and Jim Cleary played with Lunhams while the O’Connor brothers, Cormac, Diarmuid and Declan along with Kieran Corkery turned out for  Byrnes.

McSweeney’s have had a few famous names in their ranks over the years, ranging from the great Paddy Shortt (Limerick and Cork Celtic) to the late John Clifford of Cork Celtic and former Cork Hibernians, Nottingham Forrest and Republic of Ireland international Miah Dennehy.

Despite many ups and downs, the breakthrough came in 1997/98 under the guidance of Tony Byron and Robert Healy when the first of two successive Shandon Cup victories, over Heitons and ODCM the following year, was achieved on a memorable night at Turner’s Cross. The win over ODCM was followed by promotion to the second division in the same season, 1998/99, and finally promotion to the top tier in 1999/2000 where the club has stayed ever since.

Trust  finished runner-ups to Cork Plastics at the first attempt and again to Naval Services two seasons later but by the then the promotion of former player Aidan Kelleher to manager was the catalyst the club needed to succeed with a fresh brand of stylish and attractive football and become the model club they are today both on and off the field. The 4-1 cup final win over Co. Council on Sunday, April 17th 2005 began a remarkable run of success, the highlights which included the double in 2005/06 and the treble in 2009/10.

Family also played a large part in the makeup of the club. Beginning with the three O’Connor brothers and the Corkery’s, Kieran and Philip, the Monaghan brothers Robert, Brian and Joe played their part in the club’s golden era. There have also been father and son connections with fathers Denis Curtin, Mick Finn, Cormac O’Connor and Tony Byron also seeing their offspring don the jersey.

Marlboro Trust has prided itself on the bonds of friendship within the club exemplified by the end of season annual away trips which has seen the club enter competitions in Antwerp and Prague. Although the club has struggled in recent seasons to replicate the glories of the past due in the main to retirements and changing personnel, there is no doubt that Marlboro Trust has represented the best of what the CBSL has to offer and their involvement over the past thirty years has been immense in keeping the league to the forefront of Cork junior soccer. Here’s to many more years of football at work for one of the league’s greatest ambassadors!

Click on each photo below to enlarge. ?



Cup / League Year(s)
Premier Division Winners 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2012/13.
Premier Division Runners-up 2000/01, 2002/03, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2014/15.
Mooney Cup Winners 2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10, 2010/11.
Mooney Cup Runners-up 2006/07,
Shield Winners 2009/10, 2012/13.
Shield Runners-up 2010/11, 2011/12.
Premier Cup Winners 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14.
Premier Cup Runners-up 2004/05, 2012/13.
Division One Runners-up 1999/00.
Shandon Cup (Division Three) Winners 1997/98, 1998/99.