An All-American Evening at Rifle Park, Banbridge, Co. Down on Friday Evening, the 19th August, 1983, was to have included an American Football game between two teams of specially-trained Rugby players. The “Redskins” versus “Yankees” was to be the highlight of the evening which also had all the razzamatazz of cheerleaders and bands.
The match, if it actually went ahead, would push back the history of Irish American Football a further year. As it Currently stands the Dublin Celts are the first ever Irish American Football Team, founded in 1984, and the first ever match between two Irish teams (A Flag Football match) took place in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, in 1985, between the Tyrone Tornadoes and Coleraine Chieftains.
It is unlikely the teams were kitted, so it may have been something similar to Ohio League American Football in the USA in the early 20th Century, which would have looked more like Rugby Union or Rugby League than the modern game of American Football.
 Anon. (1983) “Shoot-out at Rifle Park”, Belfast Telegraph. Wednesday, August 17, 1983. pg. 34 [Past editions of the Irish Newspaper Archive are available to view online at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ ]
Thanks to David Turner (Belfast Blitzers) and Anton “Pippo” O’Grady.
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