St Mary's College will host traditional city rivals St Joseph's College in the inaugural Walter Burke Memorial Cup tomorrow at 1.30pm.
This is the first staging of the event, which is being organised by Walter Burke’s teaching colleagues to commemorate the memory of the former St Mary's teacher who sadly passed away last Christmas Eve.
Walter had retired in late 2009 after a career spanning 40 years in which he was instrumental in introducing and developing soccer in the city college.
Soccer was first played officially in the early seventies and great credit for this momentous change must go to Walter Burke. From humble beginnings on a converted Gaelic pitch, money was raised to buy a set of goal posts, and with help from a set of jerseys donated by the Past Pupils Union, soccer was established.
St Mary's played their first competitive match in 1971 against the Bish, and their first major breakthrough was in 1980 when Mary’s captured the Connacht Senior Championship for the first time. Since then Mary’s have been a major force in both Connacht schools and All-Ireland schools soccer, winning four Irish senior cups and two junior cups in recent years.
Any ex-students who played on teams managed by Walter Burke during their time in St Mary’s are welcome to attend the match and a reception afterwards in the college at 3.30pm.