Mayfield United Park: By John Stout / Joe Kennedy

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
which taken at the flood leads on to fortune”
Julius Caesar

In the middle 70’s the Cork Corporation ear marked 37.5 acres of land at Lotamore for amenity development. The initial idea was that the city fathers would develop this area for the local community. This however did not materialize due to the financial constraints on the corporation’s finances.

At the 1986/87 Mayfield United AGM permission was given to look at the feasibility to develop 6.5 acres of ground into two playing fields.

The club officials first approached Cork Corporation in July 1987

A ground committee was formed to draw up the plans to convince the power that be of the feasibility of our plans. That initial committee was made up of John Stout - Chairman, Joe Kennedy - secretary, Willie Lettis - Treasurer, and Jim Atkinson - PRO. This committee was later joined by Tom Buckley. This was the basic unit who later oversaw the fund raising drive to raise the necessary finances.

The plans drawn up at that stage incorporated six phases whereby each part would tie together, in a logical order, the overall development plan. The specific phases were,
Phase 1 : Development of pitches
Phase 2 : Railing in of pitches
Phase 3: Building a dressing room / clubhouse complex, bit enough to cater for the long term needs of the club.
Phase 4: All weather pitch.
Phase 5: Build stand.
Phase 6: Build gymnasium.

Some people saw our plans and said, “why”, our response was “why not”.

Environmental committee of Cork Corporation passed plans for pitches in Sept 1987.

Despite all the intensive work which went on behind the scenes on the 17th October 1987 the club launched its ground development plans.

A mile stone occurred on the 17 the December 1987. One of the world’s greatest player’s, George Best, turned the first sod.

In January 1988 the contractor started work on our two pitch area. This was immediately stopped when the Corporation had a change of plan. The resolution of this, to take into account that we had already signed a contract, was that we were allocated the area now occupied by pitches 1, 2, and 3. Work soon began on our three pitches.

The contract for the initial phase was for £28,000. The biggest barrier in clubs developing their own pitches, we feel, is the availability of finances. The benefit of low interest to no interest loan to voluntary organization would be enormous. With a combination of strategic planning from governmental and banking quarters this would be very feasible. As it stood when we under took our work everything signed for on behalf of the club had to be personally guaranteed.

On Saturday April 9th 1988 we launched our first big draw. The work put into this draw was absolutely amazing but the respond from the people of Mayfield was tremendous

The start of our work was also a time which saw the arrival of Jack Charlton as the manager of the Irish soccer team. The ultimate advantage of this to our club was that the influx of finances to the FAI was to filter down to clubs like ours. It was with this goal in mind that the president of the association, Mr. Michael Hyland, and his officials visited our site in July 1988.

At the end of July we held the finale of our big draw at the Arcadia Ballroom, with the guest of honor being the Lord Mayor of the time, Bernard Allen TD.

Aug. 1988 saw the excavating of pitches completed, by the end Sept. the seeding was completed, and finally the fences were erected in Nov. 1988.

During the season of 1988/89 saw the sod developing on our pitches and we started to fertilize and cut the new grass surface.

A further big draw in July 1989 saw the completion of phases 1 & 2 but most of all our foundations were laid.

During the season 1989/90 plans were afoot to commence phase 3, i.e. the dressing rooms/ clubhouse. The logistics to this had the following difficulty. Due to planning conditions the club house had to be place where it is now situated. The Corporation plans had position between the club house and our playing pitches a GAA pitch, allocated to Brien Dillons. Through negotiation between the clubs, MFA and County Board it was decided to make a swap. The playing field at the Tank Field for the undeveloped land at Lotamore. This now laid the path to future development. I suppose the point to emphasis here is that at all times everything we did had to fit into the overall plan as initiated back in 1987. The jigsaw had to be constructed to plan.

John Stout, Joe Kennedy and Jimmy Nodwell had the job to draw up the plans and complete the work. This they set about in October 1991.

In every arch that’s constructed the most important stone is the key stone. Well in the events that were to unfold than our keystone during this phase was Mr Jimmy Nodwell BE. The knowledge, expertise, will, commitment and dedication shown during this phase was incalculable. To put it into context he surveyed, drew up the plans, submitted and steered through the planning application, planned and supervised the construction.

The work from here on was planned to be phased in at £40,000 chunks. The failure to gain financial backing locally was disappointing at first but it only gave us more resolve. A very special vote of thanks must go to AIB, Patrick Bridge, and one Mr.Fred Stone. Even though as the proverb states “it was like getting water from a stone” he finally put our plans to the bank’s management who agreed the necessary finances. A footnote to this of course was everything was finally agreed with the provision of personal guarantees.

It was with great delight that on St. Patrick’s day 1992 we placed our planning application in the Evening Echo for our dressing rooms / clubhouse. This was granted in July and work began immediately

Loftus Ltd. started with our entrance road, car parks and the excavating of our clubhouse area. Another great mild stone arrived when in September Roy Keane laid the first stone of our new clubhouse.

We started the development of our forth pitch in May 1993. The reason for the completion of this pitch so soon after the commencement of the clubhouse is that a specific grant was sanctioned by the FAI specifically for this pitch.

The dead line for the completion of the club house and forth pitch was set for April 1994. This tied in with the under 16 European Tournament where some of the teams would be based in Cork and we were nominated as one of the training camps. We met the deadline. 

Phase 4 was finally given the go ahead after years of work and push. This was a huge bonus for the club to have a state of the art all weather pitch to use when the bad weather kicked in and we could rent out it out to other clubs. The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism officially opened the all weather soccer pitch in March 2006.



Contact The Club

You can get in touch with the club by contacting any committee member or club administrator, or also by email.

Committee Members
Contact Details

Back to Top
© 2024 Mayfield United AFC
Website by