After Dundalk defeated Cork City at Turner’s Cross a few weeks ago, I had a brief conversation with a couple of Lilywhites supporters about how their fortunes have turned around in the space of two years. “It’s Stephen Kenny,” enthused one fan. “He’s great.” He then leaned in closer, adopting a slightly more serious tone. “I really think he could be a politician, the way he gets involved in the community. He really cares.” As Dundalk continue to win matches, that appreciation is genuinely felt and was brilliantly captured in a banner held up at the recent game between Dundalk and Derry City at Oriel Park, depicting Kenny as “The Godfather”.
— Dundalk FC (@DundalkFC) May 16, 2015
Such was the impact of the supporters’ colourful display against Derry that Dundalk issued a statement of thanks, saying that the “magnificent banners and flags” make “a big difference to the team and the atmosphere on match nights” adding that “everybody at the club appreciates it hugely!”
Dundalk fans weren’t the only ones to tickle the imagination. Elsewhere this weekend, Sligo Rovers supporters used another pop culture reference in a bid to inspire their team to a much-needed win. Owen Heary’s side are in serious trouble near the bottom of the table, but they managed to pick up an important victory over Drogheda United on Saturday and the presence of Walter White’s intense expression in the stands no doubt contributed.
Creativity and imagination are crucial in any walk of life and supporters like those behind the aforementioned displays are vital components of not only their football clubs, but the wider league in general. Skeptics routinely refer to the same old complaints about the League of Ireland, but these clever and colourful banners are beyond reproach. Well done to everyone involved.