A Tribute to Portlaoise Senior Football Team
(Laois champions of 1958*)
I’d like to pay a tribute to a team of stalwart men,
Who put this team upon the roll of champions once again.
‘T’is of Portlaoise’s football team that I do now relate,
Who won the county championship of Nineteen Fifthy Eight.
My first respects to Alfie Lewis, the captain of them all,
As fine and game a sportsman as ever kicked a ball.
And here’s to Noel Delaney an expert at the game,
Descendant of that family of glorious football fame.
A toast to Paddy Bracken, a goalie of renown,
He was brilliant for his county, outstanding for his town.
To John Keenan of full back line and Chris Fitzpatrick too,
They showed…. what stout-hearted men can do.
Of the fair haired Billy Bunyan and Ned Wynne, I’ve this to say,
Superb was their performance on the half back line that day.
And of that other great full back before the match was won,
How many time did I exclaim; Oh! ‘Lovely Johnny Dunne’.
And here’s a toast to midfield man, McCabe and Phil O’Keeffe,
Their trojan work on final day is most beyond belief.
I toast you Vincent Moran, you excelled yourself that day,
And always have you played the game come fair or foul your way.
“Well played there Tommy Preston! – style there! Sonny Brown”,
You played your part on final day you did not let us down.
High up goes big Tom Phelan a dropping ball to get,
Now “Hector’s” in possession and the ball is in the net!
I raise my hat to “Hackie” Dunne, to see him play is grand,
How fast he gathers up that ball and speeds on “toe-to hand’.
A clever player, Mick Donovan, and also very fast,
Right well be helped Portlaoise nail there flag up in the mast.
My tribute to this football team would scarcely be complete,
If I were not to mention Pat Dalton of Bridge Street.
He was far away on final day he’d gone across the sea
But many’s the day his stalwart play helped on the victory.
Let no man think that we forget the subs e’er at our back,
Mick Larkin, Carey, Campion and good old ‘Mossy’ Stack.
They gave allegiance to their club and the town that victory won,
Their praise I’ll sing and let it ring, they’re heroes everyone.
Now that I’ve paid my tribute to this team of gallant men,
Portiaoise’s youth I would advise ‘*’ere I leave down my pen.
Stand by the town that gave you birth your allegiance never yield,
And some of you will one day too, lead champions on the field.
*The Heath were awarded the title in Portlaoise Courthouse following an appeal from The Heath