Former St Pats player finally gets a league winner's medal after 18-year wait

Ricky O'Flaherty was part of the 1997/98 team that won the League

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Ricky O'Flaherty of Pat's and Noel Hartigan of Cork in action in 1996. © INPHO/Patrick Bolger

A league winner's medal is a valuable item for any football player.

Sometimes players have to wait a week or two, to receive their medal but imagine having to wait 18 years? That was the situation, former St Patrick's Athletic striker Ricky O'Flaherty found himself in, until last weekend.

The Galway native was part of the St Pats team that won the League of Ireland in 1998, but left the club for Irish League team Glenavon before the end of the season. He played eight times for the club that season and was entitled to a medal, but never got his hands on one.

Galway WFC committee member and former St Patrick's Athletic striker Ricky O'Flaherty after he received his 97/98 League of Ireland winners 18 years later at the Galway WFC Annual Awards in the Lough Rea Hotel & Spa. 

O'Flaherty had previously won another league medal with the Inchicore side in 1996, and was lucky enough to get his hands on that one at the time. The striker was inducted into St Pats' Hall of Fame in 2011, but the medal oversight was only corrected on Sunday night.

A committee member with Women's National League side Galway WFC, O'Flaherty was presented with his medal at the team's Annual Awards Ceremony in Loughrea.

Fran Gavin, National Competitions Director with the FAI travelled to Galway to present O'Flaherty with his long awaited medal. Hopefully it was worth the wait for the striker.