1924-25 Free State League season

An interesting curtain-raiser for the 1924-25 Free State League season was the visit of a South African team to Dublin to play a match against reigning league champions Bohemians. Dalymount Park was actually the first stop on the itinerary of the visiting ‘Springbok’ side, who played 25 more matches over the next few months as they toured the UK and the Netherlands. A crowd of about 6,000 saw Ned Brooks score twice for Bohemians in a 4-2 defeat, and the South African team went on to enjoy a successful tour that saw them winning 16 matches (they also recorded a 9-1 win over a North-West Ireland XI in Derry) and scoring 83 goals.

Having slipped to seventh the previous season, the return of Bob Fullam and John Joe Flood from Leeds United helped Shamrock Rovers win a second Free State League title this year, with Bohemians and Shelbourne again keeping them company at the top of the table. The return of those players saw the famous “Four F’s” forward line of Fagan, Farrell, Flood and Fullam being assembled for the first time (only Farrell had not been with the club in 1922-23), and the foursome contributed 56 of the club’s 67 league goals this season, as the south Dublin side eclipsed their scoring rate of two seasons ago. The Rovers revival, in fact, took the form of a domestic “treble”, with goals from Fullam and Flood securing a 2-1 victory over Shelbourne in the 1925 Free State Cup decider (the first between two Free State League clubs; it was also the first where takings exceeded those of the I.F.A. Cup final), and the club also getting their hands on the Free State Shield for the first time. A 2-1 win at Dalymount Park on the last day of the shield not only snatched the trophy from Bohemians by a solitary point, but ensured that Rovers went through the entire season unbeaten.

Meanwhile, Fordsons F.C. showed themselves to have been very worthy of their inclusion in the league (they only entered the fray when Shelbourne United resigned their place after the opening day of the season), with a respectable fourth-placed finish for the newcomers. 1925 again saw a change in the league’s make-up, with Brooklyn’s disastrous shield campaign (34 goals were conceded in just nine games) contributing to their exclusion for the following year. Their place was taken by Brideville F.C., a club from the Liberties area on the south side of Dublin city.

Free State League 1924-25

Shamrock Rovers181350671231
St. James’s Gate18576303617
Athlone Town18549153214
Bray Unknowns18331221449

League top scorers : Billy Farrell Shamrock Rovers, 25 Bob Fullam Shamrock Rovers, 20 Ned Brooks Bohemians 20

Representative match : Free State League 1-2 Welsh League