The Early Days
The club was formed on the 24th of April 2005. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Tallaght when nine of us gathered for a friendly game of footy. Little did we know how tired we were going to be the next day – but also, little did we know how big the group would become. The numbers gradually grew but things really took off after that year’s Dublin Pride Sports Day in the Phoenix Park. As the numbers expanded we moved the weekly kick about to the Fifteen Acres sports fields in the Phoenix Park.
We had jokingly referred to ourselves as Men United GFC and somehow the name stuck and was how we were known for the first year of our existence. The novel idea of having a gay inclusive football team in Dublin was first developed by Mark O’Donovan who was the main driver of the formation of the club and was the club’s first Chairman.
What’s it all about?
The club is mainly about having fun playing football but there is also an element of competition when playing against other teams. We do have organised training and people have noticed huge improvements with their ball control and fitness levels. There is also a huge social side to the club and many friendships have been formed over the years. We aim to have fun but always give 100% in competitions. We worked hard to finalise a formal structure around the club including a written constitution, a governance structure and player’s insurance. These elements are all in place now.
The Name Change
Whilst Men United GFC was a fun name which reflected perhaps which club some of our members support, we decided in early 2006 to change our name to Dublin Devils FC in order to give us a unique identity which is important when playing other teams, especially in tournaments abroad.
Highlights of Our Early Years
We have had many events to choose from in our early years –
Table Quiz in Gubu (Thanks Francis!), Dublin and Manchester Pride Sports Days, and the Tournament in London, to name but a few.
We had two events in particular though, which were very special. Our first International Friendly match with the London Leftfooters in Dublin and representing Ireland in the Gay Games 2006 in Chicago!!
Since then, in the summer of 2007 The Devils sent a team to Argentina to compete in the IGLFA World Championship, and returning in August 2008 when that event was hosted in London, we made it to the Quarter-finals before being knocked out by the eventual winners. We participated as part of Team Ireland in the Gay Games in Cologne in 2010, competing in all these events against teams from all over the world.
We compete annually in an 11 a-side Winter League, playing together through cold, wind and rain!!
Milestones and Onwards….
In April 2010, we celebrated our 5th Birthday with a massive party at Spice, who we were thrilled to welcome as our Sponsor, and we proudly wore their name on our team kit from then until 2012.
From the start of 2013 we were delighted to partner with The George as our new Sponsor as the club entered the biggest year in its 8 year existence, as hosts of the IGLFA European Championship 2013.
In Ireland, we hope to one day to have teams in the other major cities and form an Irish league, and would be delighted to hear from people interested in setting up a team in their area.
We continue to work in partnership with GLEN, SARI, the IGLFA and the Justin Campaign to combat the issue of homophobia in football.
Exciting times to be involved!