Irish American Football Challenge 1983


DateHome TeamAway Team
All-America ChallengeBanbridge Rugby Club
Irish American Football Challenge 1983 [Ref: 1]


Banbridge Rugby Club hoped to open the new season in style at Rifle Park with an All-American Evening, incuding an American Football match between the “Redskins” and “Yankees” featuring two teams of Rugby Club Players specially coached for the occasion, and Cheerleaders!

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. If it actually went ahead.


[1] Anon. (1994) “Shoot-out at Rifle Park” Belfast Telegraph. Wednesday, August 17, 1983. pg. 34 [Internet] Available online at the Irish Newspaper Archive at: which is a subscription service.


Thanks to David Turner & Billy Graham (Belfast Blitzers).

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 17 May 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020

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