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Club History

August 1969, as those old enough to remember will recall, brought the outbreak of civil disturbances to Belfast and further afield, on a scale not seen for some time. As a result of this, the word went out to set up youth organisations in areas where youth or sports clubs did not exist. In this area, Jim Fitzpatrick, who at that time involved with Immaculata Youth Club, was approached to try to get something along those lines set up. Jim responded enthusiastically and brought Frank O’Connor and John Cassidy on board. In addition, through his Immaculata connection, he brought Jim McKee, one of the “mac” managers, over to help get football training under way and a new club properly organised.


At this time also, a group of boys from around the Stranmillis area, organised by Tom McQuillan’s son, Terry, used to play kick-about matches in the Botanic Gardens. These boys, along with some others from the area, were recruited to form the nucleus of an under 16 team for the still unnamed new football club. In parallel, another group of boys was got together to form an Under 14 team.


Similarly, about this time, a group of younger boys regularly played football in the tennis courts at the side of Aquinas Hall. At that time Aquinas Hall, a well-known building at 75 Malone Road, extended for virtually that entire block. Now the home of the Arts Council, that part of the block, which now contains the McNeice apartments, consisted of a grass hockey pitch and the tennis courts. This group of boys was also recruited for the club, and would enter the, soon to be formed, South Belfast Boys’ League as the Under 13 side. It was the Aquinas Hall connection which led to the new club being called Aquinas Football Club.

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The team consisted of Paddy and Liam McCollum, Jim Nicholl, Jim Gibson, Damien McMahon, Peter Kelly, Ronnie Montgomery, James Martin, Marcus Clark, Conor Gilligan, John Martin, Michael Cassidy and Charlie McDonald and was coached by Roland “Minty” Cross and a very young Stevie Martin. The photo also shows one of Aquinas’s founders, John Cassidy, at the back.


Making new History

2012 Girls became the second girls team to win a cup since the Aquinas girls football started in 2018. Starting off with a few young players, growing to over 100 players and still growing - the history is now  

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The originals

The original Aquinas team was: Charlie Mooney, David McClenaghan, Kim McIntyre, Des Brennan, Paul Sands, Jimmy Kelly, Terry McQuillan, Jimmy Nellins, Stevie Martin, Gerard McConkey and Peter Fitzpatrick

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