1984 - 1985 After a two-year gap, senior football returned to Leeside when Cork City FC was elected to the League of Ireland in 1984. Former Chelsea and Cork Celtic hero Bobby Tambling was the first manager appoined to the club, but his reign was short at only 13 games. Tony 'Tucker' Allen filled the breach as the club opted to import a batch of English players, most notably ex-Liverpool midfielder Terry McDermott. The gamble averted the threat of relegation to the new First Division, though success in the League Cup was less forthcoming as The Rebels fell to Drogheda United in the second round.
1985 - 1986 The second campaign almost brought disaster with City failing to win a single game in their then home, Flower Lodge and avoiding relegation only on goal difference from Shelbourne. The FAI Cup offered some respite though, with Bray Wanderers, Limerick City and Derry City being overcome as City advanced to the semi-finals. However, all-conquering Shamrock Rovers proved too powerful over two legs, winning 8:3 on aggregate. The return match at the Lodge was the last ever played at the famous old venue.
1986 - 1987 1986 brought the enforced move to Turners Cross. New manager Noel O’Mahony would eventually guide City into the relative comfort zone of mid-table, but the FAI Cup, League Cup and Munster Senior Cup offered little in the way of glory, or consolation.
remember when spain played ireland at the lodge for the cork 800 celebrations? the pitch was like a billiard table that day, looked absoluitely magnificent.
i was talking to a gaa bigshot after they bought the lodge and he told me that when they were extending the pitch they discovered that there was 18inches of topsoil!!! No wonder the pitch looked so well at that spain game.
apparently stanley matthews said (in the 50's) that it was the best pitch he'd ever played on!