Club History

First established in 1968, Arlington A.F.C. was founded by a group of teenagers inspired by the soccer games of the 1960s. Among those originally involved were Pat Maher, Seamus McNulty, Christy Dunne, Jim Gorry, Tom Carey, John Mulligan, Michael Costello and Michael Troy. They were later joined by Sean Madden, John Hynan, Seamus Kelly, Murt O'Connor, Albert Mitchell, Michael Kavanagh and Eugene Finnegan. Aged between 14 and 16 years the group was serious about sowing the seeds of the first soccer club in the town which would dare to compete with the GAA.

Like any other club one of the main challenges was finding a pitch and paying for it. Late 1968 saw the start of a series of discos and band line ups that would serve as fundraisers for the club. Some of the many pitches played upon in that time included The Nuns Field, the rear of the ESB, the back of Mick Finlays pub on Bracklone Street and then eventually a small field was rented in Corrig for 10 schillings a week.

The first ever game played by Arlington was against the Jesuits religious order in the Emo Court. Other early opponents included Monasterevin and a Bord na Mona selection.

Then on 22nd February 1969 the club was accepted into the Midland League Division 2.

Arlington went on to secure the use of Behan's Field in Tierhogar where they continued to play many a memorable game against teams like Lamb's of Dublin, Killavilla and Barrow Rangers up until 1974. It was in 1974 that they got loan approval from the bank securing them the money they needed to buy a field on Lea Road and so Castle Park was born. However, mounting debts in the mid to late 70's meant the club was in trouble. A "Save the Soccer Pitch Campaign" was launched and slowly the club began to turn itself around. In 1979 it was decided to hold an Official Pitch Opening with an exhibition match between Shamrock Rovers and St Patricks Athletic.

The official opening of Castle Park took place on Sunday 29th July 1979.

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