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St Pat's History - The 1980's

The first half of the 1980's saw various experiments with League format and rules, amongst them trials with three points for a win (not introduced permanently until the mid 90's) and four points for away wins.

The League of Ireland was split into a Premier Division and First Division for 1985-86.

The previous season almost saw Pat's relegated at the first opportunity; only a late rally with three wins in their final three games saw relegation averted by a single point.

The Saints never looked back - in the 35 seasons since, Patrick's are the only Premier Division team to have avoided relegation and the relegation/promotion playoff.

The eighties began with midtable League finishes similar to the decade before. 1981-82 gave Richmond regulars something to shout about.

Manager Charlie Walker signed 21-year Paul McGrath from junior club Dalkey United.

"The Black Pearl of Inchicore" went on to excel for the Saints in various positions as the season continued, netting four times in 31 overall appearances.

His talents didn't go unnoticed. He won the second-ever PFAI Player of the Year Award and earned a transfer to Manchester United which put him on the path to legendary status.

The move to Old Trafford reportedly saved St Pat's three separate times; firstly due to the transfer fee, then the receipts from the friendly game at Dalymount against Man United agreed as part of the deal, and finally the bonus received.

You can read the article in full in our matchday programme:



  • The 1970s
  • The 1960s
  • The 1950s

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    St Patrick's Athletic FC

    Founded in 1929 the 'Saints' play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League at Richmond Park, in Inchicore Dublin 8, Ireland.

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