To mark the 125th anniversary of both the first shinty-hurling fixture and London GAA’s founding, London Camanachd will be hosted by London GAA for a shinty hurling match at McGovern Park on Sunday 3rd October. London Camanachd, perhaps to a greater extent than any other shinty team, has had a great connection to hurling and the high number of Irish players throughout the club’s history starting with JP Crotty in the 1900s. This was particularly true in the 1980s and 1990s, when Hugh O’Kane and Seán Reid, of Brian Boru and London GAA, restarted and lead the team to heights not experienced previously in the clubs history such as winning the Skeabost Horn in 1985 and reaching the semi finals of the Balliemore and Bullough Cups the same year. The latter of the pair, Seán Reid, passed away last year leaving a notable sporting legacy to both London GAA and London Camanachd which continues on to this day with the motivation from both organisations to arrange this fixture to acknowledge his efforts for London sport over the decades. Currently the club continues to have an Irish influence with home games held at GAA pitches, the London pub that shows televised games being a notable Irish pub and the current London Camanachd chair and secretary being from Ireland as well. The great history and connection between the two sides will make for a great event at McGovern Park in Ruislip.

The match 125 years ago took place on Boxing Day 1896 at the Lea Bridge Stadium to much fanfare and excitement despite the heavy rain earlier in the day. The London team were captained by Ian McKenzie of Caberfeidh and led onto the pitch by two pipers by the surname MacKay to the song Scots Wha Hae. While the Irish team were accompanied onto the pitch by the St Anne’s Brass band to the tune of the Wearing of the Green. Soft and wet ground meant the game was a fiercely contested and equal affair though the quick, fast paced start achieved by the hurlers and the lack of clinical finishing by the shinty team meant a 3-0 victory for the GAA. When time was called both teams lined up and were played off the field by the collection of pipers to Ye Banks and Braes. Numerous matches were played in the following years between the two organisations, often held at Stamford Bridge Stadium during the London Highland Gatherings. More details about these matches are available on the London Camanachd Results Archive available here: