Rovers 1973 heroes honoured in Dublin

They may have a bit more grey hair than when they took to the field against arguably one of the world's greatest footballing sides, but some familiar and legendary faces gathered in Dublin this afternoon to commemorate an All Ireland sporting achievement 35 years ago.

The All Ireland Shamrock Rovers XI football team, which played Brazil at Lansdownde Road on July 3rd 1973, were honoured at a function at the Radisson Hotel, Stillorgan.

The latest in the Sporting Legends series, organised by the Association of Sports Journalists in Ireland in association with Lucozade Sport, commemorates one of the most significant sporting events in this country in the second half of the 20th Century.

Although billed officially as the "Shamrock Rovers All-Ireland XI" it was the first occasion that a soccer team representing the entire island of Ireland had played together in 60 years.

Northern Ireland International, Derek Dougan, who sadly passed away last year, was the brainchild behind the game and along with his southern counterpart Johnny Giles, they formed an All Ireland starting eleven comprising of six Republic of Ireland and five from Northern Ireland


Reigning World Champions, Brazil, had won the World Cup only three years before this fixture, and they were a side generally regarded as one of the best teams of all time. Pele had retired by 1973, but Brazil still brought stars like Jairzinho, Rivelino and Clodoaldo to Dublin for a game that

captured the publics' imagination. Over 35,000 supporters filled Landowne Road to witness a thrilling game that Brazil eventually won 4-3.

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