The Seventh Annual Bill O’Herlihy Cup will take place on the DCU five-a-side pitches on Thursday, April 14th at one o’clock, it was announced this week.
Named after the legendary journalist and broadcaster who passed away in May 2015, ‘the Billo Cup’ was first played in 2010 after then-College View Sports Editor, Niall Farrell, and his DCU FM counterpart, Stephen Long, came up with the idea.
“At the time there was a heated rivalry between The College View and DCU FM, particularly between the two sports departments, as I’m sure there is now,” said Farrell.
“There was some trash talking and eventually we decided to have a football match to settle the score. It wasn’t originally intended to be an annual tournament but it just happened that way.
“I can’t really remember who came up with the idea to name it after Bill. I think it could have been David Hanratty (former Arts Editor of The College View). We decided to name it after him because he bridged the gap between print media and broadcasting. He was a renaissance man of sorts in journalism.
Niall told the story of the inaugural Bill O’Herlihy Cup, and how DCU FM’s superior fitness gave them the upper hand.
“I don’t think many of The College View lads would mind me saying this but FM were a lot fitter than us.
“We had one guy called Seán Buckley who, despite his name, is from Brazil. He was a great footballer but the rest of us weren’t up to much and a few of the FM lads played Gaelic so they were much fitter.
After disappointment in 2010, The College View did level the overall score at 1-1 the following year but Niall explains that the result isn’t why the 2011 Cup was his most memorable.
“Stephen (Long, then-DCU FM Head of Sport) was working in a hotel in Waterford at the time. He came back to college after the weekend once and mentioned that Bill stayed in his hotel that weekend. Of course, Stephen told Bill that there was a football tournament in DCU named after him.
“Apparently Bill was completely taken aback by the notion that someone would name a football tournament after him. He was completely honoured and actually asked if we would let him present the trophy.
“Unfortunately it didn’t transpire and he didn’t turn up but we got a letter from him not long after the match explaining that something came up in RTÉ and he apologised.”
Bill passed away on May 25th, 2015 and as a result the tournament has been renamed the Bill O’Herlihy Memorial Cup. Participation is not limited to members of each editorial team and all players are welcome.
Image credit: Niall Farrell