Memories of the early 90s

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El Paso
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Memories of the early 90s

Post by El Paso » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:05 pm

I've been going back over Jim Murphy's books and one thing that really stands out is the collapse in support after the 1988 Double.

We only had about 3,500 for the visits of Ajax Amsterdam and Red Star Belgrade. Just a few years after we got 17,000 for Spurs, Liverpool and Celtic. We were getting 600-800 a match during the 1990-91 League winning season. Jim describes the atmosphere at the Honved game as 'curious'.

This was all at a time when Irish football was never more popular - did Big Jack actually make things worse for the League of Ireland? Alright ITV had live matches on a lot of Sundays but it was still pre-Premier League. The only other thing I can think of was the savage unemployment rate. Does that explain a team about to win the League getting 800 through the turnstiles?

Anyway I've started this thread to get people's takes on their memories of the club then and why they think things were the way they were. Might even learn something to help prevent it happening again!

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Re: Memories of the early 90s

Post by Robbiedundalk2 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:02 pm

Did you change this post?

I think the big difference between prior successful times and now is that the quality of the football is better now and so is the marketing of our team locally. Early 90’s was beginning of football on telly and also Man United going well which would have taken focus away.

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Re: Memories of the early 90s

Post by El Paso » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:31 pm

I edited it down a bit because what I first wrote was a bit scattergun, and it's the early 90s I'm most curious about because that's when I first went regularly. If I have the numbers right I think average attendance dropped by 75% from 1987-88 to 1992-93.

I don't remember if I was at Turlough's last game or the defeat before it. But I remember my dad being disgusted that Turlough had been spat at. We didn't go back for a few months after that.

Maybe it's as simple as TV and a lack of cash. Just seems bananas to me that so many previously loyal ish people stopped going when they knew it was killing the club. I was only in my early teens and we went when my dad wasn't working Sundays.

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Re: Memories of the early 90s

Post by seand » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:37 am

I don't know if the 80s were that much better to be honest. The Turly years were successful but I don't think corwds were signifcantly better in the mid/late 80s than early 90s. A lot of momentum was lost after the McLaughlin years. Many reasons- we were rubbish for a couple of years, the football wasn't good, a massive recession, and TV football started having a big impact in the 80s (even before Sky). The league was in a poor state in general. Rovers were averaging under 2000 when they won 4-in-a-row and Irish clubs didn't win a European tie for a decade.

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Re: Memories of the early 90s

Post by Robbiedundalk2 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:40 am

The quality of football is so much better, full time professional. From memory crowds are much better now than the McLaughlin era. 5k were at it our first league win in 1976, last game to win it v Cork and that was by far the biggest league crowd in that era. Plenty there for the Limerick cup game in 1980 but most there only for the fight after we get attacked down in Limerick earlier in the season. That aside there was never much if any trouble, a few stones thrown the odd game v Rovers about the height of it. These are the glory years, I hope they return..

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Re: Memories of the early 90s

Post by El Paso » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:26 pm

On a related note then, when we switched from Sunday to Thursday was there a noticeable jump in attendance?

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Re: Memories of the early 90s

Post by Robbiedundalk2 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:38 pm

Don’t know I had left the country by then

Great announcement today by the club. I hope we get to see some footballer this year. It would mean we kicked this virus and most people healthy and well

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