The day Pelé and Santos left Dalymount crowd feeling short-changed

It’s 47 years ago today since the famous Brazilian side drew a crowd of over 30,000

Brazilian start Pelé signs autographs on O’Connell Street during his stay in Dublin with Santos in February 1972. Photograph:  Getty Images

Brazilian start Pelé signs autographs on O’Connell Street during his stay in Dublin with Santos in February 1972. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Today marks the 47th anniversary of the day Pelé and his Santos team-mates drew a crowd of over 30,000 to Dalymount Park to play an exhibition match, one that didn’t quite live up to its billing.

With punters having to fork out £2 for a ticket, around €28 nowadays, the gate was worth over £60,000 or close to €850,000 in today’s money.

Irish Times soccer correspondent, Peter Byrne, certainly felt that supporters didn’t get bang for their buck as the Brazilian side scored two late goals through substitute Alcindo to beat a combined Bohemians-Drumcondra selection 3-2.

Opening his match report in Monday’s Irish Times, Byrne wrote: “Some of the 30,000-plus crowd, who watched Santos labour to victory in Saturday’s exhibition game at Dalymount Park paid £2 for the privilege. Given the same opportunity tomorrow, I doubt if they would accept tickets at half that price.”

The game was far from headline news in a Monday edition dominated on the front page by news from Cardiff that Wales had decided to follow Scotland and not play that year’s Five Nations game in Dublin due to the Troubles.

Santos were on a whistlestop tour of Europe, including a 31-year-old Pelé, who was the main draw in a hectic schedule. In fact, the game at Dalymount was their third in a week after they followed a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa on the Monday woth a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Perhaps all that effort caught up with Pelé and his team-mates as they certainly failed to hit the heights at Dalyer according to Byrne’s report.

“For the most part Pelé might well have been toiling in the anonymity of junior football as he sought to lift himself clear of the general level of mediocrity that made this a monstrous bore from start to finish.

“Long before the end, however, Santos, the one-time masters of club football, had become the faded aristocrats and Pelé, the King himself, had been reduced to something less than regal.”

Video of the game shows plenty of Pelé running at Irish defenders, with tackles very much of the friendly nature from the Irish defenders.

Edu gave Santos the lead in the ninth minute after good work from Pelé and Nene, but a header from Northern Ireland international Tommy Hamill and a penalty from Republic of Ireland international Johnny Fullam in a five-minute spell before half-time left the home selection ahead.

Byrne was taken by Santos’ indifference for most of the second half.

“Given ample space in which to demonstrate their skills in an atmosphere conducive to exhibitionism, they trundled through the second half, unhurried and, seemingly unworried, by the fact that they were a goal down.

“The relief which greeted the facesaving scores by Alcindo, a halftime replacement for Manoel Maria, gave the lie to the theory that Santos were unconcerned, but surely it could have been more profitably displayed in a greater show of urgency on the ball.”

Television pictures from the match show the only urgency from the Brazilians came when the Santos players decided to end the game after Alcindo scored his second goal to give them the lead in the 88th minute as players , led by Pelé, ran for the tunnel under garda escort in a bid to avoid the pitch invasion.

The teams from the match were:

BOHEMIANS-DRUMCONDRA: Scothorn; Doran, Parkes, Martin, McGlynn, Kelly, Swan , Fullam , McArdle, Sullivan, Hamill. Subs: J Martin (80 mins) for McArdle , Place (85 mins) for Sullivan.

SANTOS: Cejas; Paulo, Ze Carlos, Orlando. Leo, Oberdan, Manoel Maria, Nene, Edu , Pelé, Ferraro. Subs: Delgado (45 mins) for Paulo, Alcindo (45 mins) for Manoel Maria.

Referee: J Carpenter (Dublin).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.