Cobh Ramblers F.C.
Cobh Ramblers Football Club (CRFC) (Irish: Cumann Peile Chóstóirí Chóbh) is an Irish football club. The club, founded in 1922 and elected to the League of Ireland in 1985, hails from Cobh, County Cork and play their home matches at St. Colman's Park. The club's colours are claret and blue. The club was a founding member of the Cork Athletic Union League in 1947 and is the only one of the 14 founding clubs still in existence today.
|Full name||Cobh Ramblers Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||"Ramblers" or "The Rams" "The Claret and Blue Army"|
|Ground||St Colman's Park, Cobh, |
|League||League of Ireland First Division|
Cobh Ramblers was originally a field hockey club, and until the British withdrawal from Ireland, many club members played football with the British Army soldiers who were stationed at Cobh. This led to the re-formation of Cobh Ramblers as a football club.
Cobh Ramblers joined the League of Ireland in 1985, after many years as a Munster Senior League side. One of the most successful of those teams was the team of 1983, who got to the semi final of the FAI Cup humbling many senior clubs on the way. They met Sligo Rovers in the semi-final that year and captured the imagination of the Irish footballing public, drawing crowds of over 20,000 to Flower Lodge for the home games as St Colmans Park was too small. There were 3 replays until Sligo finally won 3–2 and went on to win the Cup.
Cobh won promotion to the Premier Division in 1988, after finishing First Division runners-up to Athlone Town. Lasting just one season in the top flight, they won promotion again at the end of the 1992–93 season, this time as runners-up to Galway United. A play-off win over Finn Harps saw Ramblers retain their Premier Division status at the end of the 1993–94 season, but the club were relegated in second-last place the following year.
With Ramblers having played all but four of their League of Ireland campaigns in the First Division, they rarely get to play their local rivals Cork City, a Premier Division team, with the two usually only being able to match up in pre-season friendlies and the occasional cup match, Cobh being the minnows in terms of League of Ireland experience.
In recent years, fan numbers have not been as high as they were during the glory days when Ramblers were in the top flight of Irish football and playing glamorous pre-season matches against the likes of Celtic and Arsenal. Though even with its lower attendance at home matches (usually about 600 or so, over 1000 for the 2008 season), the fans in attendance are loyal and take part in club fund-raisers and events as well as watching the match. It is hoped though that with a new younger generation becoming interested in the League of Ireland, due to promotion of the league and sport as a whole, that attendance and the fortunes of the club might improve.
Ramblers appeared on live television for the first time on Friday, 10 November 2006 in an away fixture at Galway United, where they lost 1–0.
On 10 November 2007 Cobh Ramblers beat Athlone Town 1–0 in Lissywoollen in what was a tense and nervous display. This victory gave Cobh Ramblers their first piece of Senior Silverware and crowned them First Division Champions. During the 2007 season, with their young squad, they recorded a 27-game unbeaten run, keeping 22 clean sheets. Their points tally of 77 points was also a record for the league.
However, after suffering relegation from the League of Ireland Premier Division, Ramblers subsequently failed to obtain a licence for the First Division due to financial constraints and so compete in the Newstalk A Championship (Ireland's third tier).
The Ramblers most noted past player is former Irish international and Manchester United star Roy Keane, while Irish international Stephen Ireland is a product of the Youth System. Westlife singer Nicky Byrne, who was also a footballer on the books at Leeds United, had a spell with the club too.
On 18 March 2014, the club parted company with manager Dave Hill by mutual consent after five years. He was replaced by Martin Cambridge on an interim basis. In March 2015 Martin Cambridge tendered his resignation and Stephen Henderson returned to the club as first team manager. In Oct 2015 Stephen Henderson signed a new three-year contract with the club. In 2016 Henderson guided Ramblers to munster senior cup victory and to a 3rd-place finish in the first division. Cobh Ramblers were the only side to defeat first division champions Limerick that season and this coincided with a run of 5 victories in their last 5 league games to reach the play offs. They narrowly lost 3–2 on aggregate to Drogheda Utd despite overturning a 2–0 deficit in the return leg at United Park after only nine minutes.
In 2018, Ramblers reached the final of the EA Sports Cup Final. In the semi final they defeated Dundalk 1–0 at home with striker Chris Hull scoring the winner. After defeating Dundalk, and denying the eventual champions a treble, Ramblers lost the final away to Derry City 3–1.
St Colman's Park was redeveloped during the mid-2000s. Construction of a new state of the art changing facility and press office along with a new Chairman's office was completed in 2006 along with new floodlights and a 900-seater stand replacing the old shed. The east stand, too has seen improvement with 450 new seats being installed. Plans for a new 900 seater stand adjacent to the existing stand have temporarily been put on hold due to minor financial difficulties at the club. A new slick surface was also added prior to the clubs admission to the Eircom/Airtricity League Premier Division in 2009.
The stadium has hosted international underage games including games in the 1994 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship qualifiers.
Munster Schools Senior Cup games have also been staged at the stadium including the final which was won by local Cobh school, Coláiste Muire in 2010.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
The National under-19 league was introduced in 2011, replacing the old A Championship. Cobh Ramblers won the Southern Division that year, gaining promotion to the Elite Division. Dave Hill took charge that season and in their first year at that level they finished 10th and avoiding relegation. Most of that squad advanced to the Senior Team. Martin Cambridge later took over the side from Dave Hill. With Cambridge managing the senior team, Stephen Bermingham took over the side for the 2014–15 season. The team was subsequently managed by Len Hackett (2016), Declan Coleman (2017), Ethan McCarthy (2018) and Ivan Bevan (2019). The backroom team also includes Kieran Dunlea and Damien Rowe.
Cobh Ramblers entered a team in the first ever League of Ireland under-17 season in 2015, managed by Len Hackett. The side was made up of players from across the county of Cork. Ethan McCarthy took over the side for the 2016 campaign as the league switched to a summer calendar. As of 2020, the Under-17 side is coached by former Cork City FC, St Patrick's Athletic and Cardiff City defender, Darren Dennehy.
Cobh Ramblers fanbase, known as the "Claret and Blue Army", used to locate in the East stand, behind the goal. Nowadays they locate at the far end of the South stand. There is also a Cobh Ramblers Supporters Club, who are involved in fundraising for the club.
In 2019, Cobh Ramblers changed the ownership structure of the club and became a fully fan owned entity. Now operating under the guise of Cobh Ramblers Co-Operative Society.
- League of Ireland First Division: 1
- EA Sports Cup: Runners-Up 1
- Munster Senior League: 15
- 1925–26, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1943–44, 1956–57, 1971–72, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85
- Munster Senior Cup: 5
- 1924–25, 1943–44, 1978–79, 1982–83, 2015–16
- FAI Intermediate Cup: 2
- 1979–80, 1982–83
- Enda McGuill Cup: 1
- Munster Youths Cup: 3
- 1989–90, 1993–94, 1999-0
Notable former managersEdit
Notable former playersEdit
- "Cobh Ramblers - Team Profile". extratime.ie. Extra Time. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
- "Club Directory - Who are Cobh Ramblers?". cobhramblers.ie. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
- "Club History". cobhramblers.ie. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
- "Cobh boss praises promotion winners". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Salthill Devon secure 1st Division Status". www.airtricityleague.ie. 6 November 2010. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Memorable events in Keane's career". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 15 July 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Club History - Ramblers Celebrities". cobhramblers.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008.
- "Munster Football Association – Previous Winners". Munster Football Association. Retrieved 26 November 2013.