The story of Knocklyon United Football Club is one that dates back almost 40 years when some ambitious locals met in Delaney's pub to form a football club for the kids in the community. Their ambition was to provide football for as many kids as possible, in a safe, friendly environment. Since then little has changed in terms of the aim of everyone involved in the club, only the football landscape and the amount of members has changed.
In 2024 Knocklyon Utd will celebrate 40 years as a club. If it wasn’t for the enormous effort & foresight of a few men back in the 1980's, it is safe to say the club would not be where we are today. John Bates, or Johnny as he was known, was the founder of Knocklyon Utd together with John Mallon. Johnny sadly passed away in February 2013 but his contribution to the club and in turn to the whole community of Knocklyon cannot be underestimated.
Our inaugural season saw Johnny & John register an u10’s and an u13’s team in the South Dublin Boys League, playing out of a new pitch in Delaford Park. And what a start it was! Our u10’s took home the League and Shield trophies and our u13’s added their League trophy. The expert coaching received during the season from the Shamrock Rovers captain and Glenvara local Pat Byrne obviously paid off.
The following season founding member John Mallon emigrated, but Johnny was not deterred. We added an u10 side and help was sought from the community. Enter club legend Bill Leckey who joined up for the 1985/86 season for what was the start of a sterling 17 years’ service to the club.
The word was out that there was a top club operating in Delaford and the rapid growth continued. As more teams were added to meet demand, more future club stalwarts were found. Coolamber man John Doyle (RIP) joined up for 1986/87 and by 1988 was elected our first Chairman. John went on to put a solid 15 years into the club as Coach, Chairman, Vice-Chairman and club entertainer at our club nights, socials and awards ceremonies.
1988 was a key year for Irish international football of course, but also a key year for Knocklyon United as this was the year stalwarts Finbarr Dolan and Noel Gaughran arrived at the club. Noel went on to put a full 30 years’ service into the club in many roles, it is a service unmatched by anybody in the club’s history. Finbarr sat on our first committee and was valuable not only as a coach but also as the PRO who promoted the club through the exponential growth that followed in the next few years. The club grew from 4 teams to 18 teams between 1987 and 1991 which was a remarkable achievement and gave the club the solid base it needed to grow into one of the largest clubs in Dublin.
Today Knocklyon United stands pround as one of Irelands biggest football clubs with nearly 800 players across 53 teams is a direct result of the commitment of these people and others they recruited. Their contribution to the whole of Knocklyon should not be forgotten.