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BEN HANNIGAN of CORK CELTIC FAME

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BIG BEN was a CORK CELTIC HERO but he was a PROUD DUBLINER

BIG BEN HANNIGAN, was one of the great characters of Irish soccer in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Soccer fans of those nostalgic eras bemoaned the lack of entertainers such as Ben. He left an indelible mark throughout the League, especially with fans of the six clubs he represented including Shelbourne (three times); Dundalk (twice); Shamrock Rovers; Sligo Rovers, St. Patricks Athletic and Cork Celtic, who were fortunate enough to see him in their colours.

In the mid 1960’s Ben also played for Wrexham, but mssing the craic and camaraderie, he returned to Dublin after making seven appearances with the Welsh side. In an exciting chapter of his career, he won League Championship titles with three clubs, Shelbourne, Dundalk and Cork Celtic, a remarkable achievement.

Following those glorious chapters, he then went on a bit of a tour assisting Sligo Rovers, St. Patricks Athletic and Shelbourne, before signing for Cork Celtic during their glory season of 1974. An injury to Bobby Tambling in a defeat to Cork Hibernians, saw Celtic manager, the charismatic Paul O’Dovovan, swoop for 31 years old Ben Hannigan, and this move proved successful.

Ben quickly became a fans favourite, and was the character of the team making 19 appearances and contributed five goals as Celtic, The Cinderella Club, went on to win the League Championship for the only time in the clubs history.

MICHAEL CASEY Profile

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