League champions Cork City go in search of an historic double when they take on Dundalk in the FAI Cup final tomorrow – an incredible turnaround for a club which has seen much darker days.
Rescued from oblivion by supporters trust FORAS, the world recently got a chance to hear the Cork story on FIFA TV, just before they wrapped up the SSE Airtricity League title.
As well as interviews with City staff, the six-minute segment also features contributions from prominent fans including local fishmonger Pat O'Connell, Irish Examiner sports writer Martin Claffey and FORAS member Niamh O’Mahony.
Capturing the sights and sounds of the city and the stadium, Cork has rarely looked better.
“Me growing up with my family, we were always Cork City supporters,” said club captain Alan Bennett.
“My dad and my uncle went to all the games, so for me I always wanted to play at Turners Cross, and I always wanted to sign for Cork City.
“There was a massive collapse around 2007, 2006 so the club went from being professional, full-time, and getting some good results in Europe to pretty much collapsing and going back to part-time.”
Chairman Pat Lyons also recalled the journey towards the club becoming supporter-owned.
“FORAS was set up initially by the fans who were concerned that the club was getting into difficulties,” he explained.
“We had no intention of ever owning the club or no idea that we could even do it. But we did apply for a licence when we saw that the club was really in deep trouble.
“We have a very strong community in FORAS, all of these people put their hands in their pockets to pay money in to keep the club going.”
Manager John Caulfield spoke of his deep affection for the club, and how he dropped everything when he was offered the role.
“The opportunity came up to take over the club and I was giving up my full-time job to go into full-time management,” he said.
“I suppose a lot of people close to me probably didn’t think it was a good move.
“I never really saw it that way. We believed in ourselves, and it’s been fantastic.”
You can watch the Cork City segment from 13:53 onwards below: