BY KIERAN McCARTHY
SKIBBEREEN AFC will look to wrestle the Dave Wigginton Memorial Cup from Cork City’s grasp when the two clubs clash this Saturday afternoon, at the Baltimore Road Grounds, at 2pm.
This is just the second time that this cup will be played for – 2004 was the first and only occasion, a game that Cork City won – after Skibbereen AFC officials decided it’s time to resurrect the game in an era where there is also a strong West Cork link, as manager John Caulfield has been living in Ballineen the past 30 years.
‘John acknowledges and respects Cork City’s big fan base in West Cork. This is a great opportunity to come down to meet the fans, and as well as that get in a bit of training,’ a Skibbereen club official told The Southern Star.
‘It’s a great chance too for the current Skibbereen team to play against one of the best teams in the country and to show what they can do.’
It’s a huge challenge for West Cork League Premier Division side Skibbereen as they will take to the field against a Cork City team that finished second in the Airtricity League of Ireland last season and just last week unveiled former Manchester United midfielder Liam Miller as their latest acquisition.
This is also a great opportunity for Skibbereen’s younger players – the club now has 250 underage members – to watch Cork City’s finest strut their stuff in West Cork
‘The Skibbereen kids are mad about soccer and mad about Cork City, so it’s a great chance for these kids to see their heroes up close here in Skibbereen,’ the club official added.
Former Cork Hibernians star Dave Wigginton, who died suddenly in October 2001, lived in Skibbereen for a number of years where he became involved with the local club and co-managed the Skibb junior team alongside Ronnie Tanner for a spell.
In 1995 he lined out for Skibbereen’s soccer team (the one and only time) in a friendly game against the Cork City team that had won the league title, at a match that was played on the old soccer pitch on the Marsh Road, as part of the Welcome Home Week Festival.
Wigginton was signed for Cork Hibs in 1968 and the forward went on to win plenty of honours in the League of Ireland, including a league championship (1971), FAI Cups (1972 and ’73), a Munster Senior Cup and more.
After he passed away in 2001 it was decided to play for a memorial cup (Dave Wigginton Memorial Cup) in his honour, which will be contested for the second time this weekend.
His family will present the cup to the winning team on Saturday. Adult tickets cost €5 and children’s tickets cost €2. There will be a ticket booth on the way out to the ground from Skibbereen where tickets can be purchased on the day, as well as a souvenir match programme. Parking will be at O’Donnell Design and Baltimore Rd industrial estate, just beyond O’Donnell Design.