Ever-reliable Johnny still going strong for the Harps

Johnny Elliot has been actively involved in the Derrygonnelly Harps club for over thirty years and many would say that he played a key role in bringing the New York Gold Cup to Harpland for the first time in 1995.
Johnny joined Donal Fee and Hugh Kelly’s management team in the role of water man and he recalls going above and beyond the call of duty in order to make sure that the Derrygonnelly footballers were well prepared before their matches. 
“I would have been doing the water man role for a long time for the senior team. I used to go up to the spring well up beside Sean Flanagan’s house in Knockmore and get some water for them. I used to go up with empty milk jugs and bring back the spring water and then the lads would drink that before they would go out.”
Johnny retired from his role as water man at the end of the 1995 season and the Derrygonnelly native was to go out on a high as the Harps would end their wait for senior championship glory, in a two-point victory over Lisnaskea Emmetts in the final.
Reflecting back on that historic success, Johnny believes it was a key turning point in the fate of the club and he admits that it was a very special time to be involved with the senior team.
“I finished in that role in ’95 and I have supported them ever since. It was a big thing for the club. I finished in my role then but to see them win the Championship title over the years has been great.” 
In recent times, Johnny has continued to serve his club in a fundraising capacity and he is widely renowned for selling lotto tickets throughout the village of Derrygonnelly and the surrounding areas on a weekly basis.
He is a regular attendee at all Derrygonnelly matches whether they are at home or away and the faithful clubman is optimistic that the Harps will bounce back from their championship final defeat last year.
“Sometimes you just have to take your beating. Last year we lost to Ederney and it took us a long time to get over it. We were on to win the ‘six in a row’ and winning means a lot to the club and a lot to the people, so last year, we just had to take it on the chin. Ederney were better than us that day, they wanted it more and it took a while to get over it.”

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