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The FAI Pays Great Tribute To Soccer Playing Hero Of 1916 In Switzerland Programme

The FAI Pays Great Tribute To Soccer Playing Hero Of 1916 In Switzerland Programme
By Conor Neville Updated

In their match programme for Friday's friendly with Switzerland, the FAI pay tribute to a famous Irish soccer man and a veteran of the 1916 Rising.

Oscar Traynor commanded the rebel forces at the Metropole Hotel in O'Connell Street - the hotel was adjacent to the GPO in 1916.

Traynor was also a goalkeeper with the famous Belfast Celtic. He had toured Europe with the club in 1912.

The club was one of the strongest in the unified Irish League pre-independence and would later thrive in the IFA League. They withdrew from the League in 1949 after Linfield fans attacked their players in a pitch invasion.

The European tour was a triumph. The Belfast Celts won five out of six games in Prague, drawing the other.

During the War of Independence, Traynor led the Dublin Brigade along with Michael Collins. However, he opposed the Treaty and fought on the Republican side in the Civil War. He later became a Fianna Fail minister in several ministers eventually resigning his final post in 1961.

In last cabinet job, he fell out with his energetic and scarily ambitious junior minister, one Charlie Haughey.

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One of the country's premier junior football competitions - the Oscar Traynor Trophy - is named in his honour.

The FAI's programme for Friday's night bears an image of him on the front cover.

The Swiss might be unfamiliar with such militaristic image. Maybe it will unsettle them too.

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Read more: The Delightfully Bizarre Sporting Past Of Leader Of 1916

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