The FA Cup was welcomed to the K Club in Straffan last Sunday afternoon, September 1.
The Chairman of holders Wigan Athletic Football Club, and some members of the club’s board, were greeted by children from Straffan AFC Soccer Club. The youngsters formed a guard of honour at the main entrance of the hotel to welcome the famous trophy to Kildare.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is the current holder of the FA Cup following their famous 1–0 win over Manchester City. It is the first time the club has won the Cup.
The FA Cup was on display for the public to view in the lobby of The K Club until last Monday afternoon.
The delegation from Wigan AFC visited the home of the Ryder Cup at the invitation of Tony Smurfit, president of The Smurfit Kappa Group.
Mr Smurfit is a lifelong Wigan supporter as he was born in Wigan when the Smurfit family operated a factory in the town.
Mr Whelan arrived by helicopter at the hotel last Sunday evening, and was greeted by local youngsters.
They all got a chance to have their photos taken with the cup and many received Wigan jerseys from the chairman.
Straffan AFC also brought along their own Cup which they won in the Kildare League and the team were delighted to show it off alongside the FA Cup.
Mr Whelan said: “I have always loved Ireland and the Irish people, so to bring the cup to Ireland and The K Club is something of which I am very proud.
“Wigan Athletic is a great football club with a unique atmosphere. Winning the cup was a dream come true and I am sure we will be back in the premiership next season”.
- Laura Coates