Ballyboden Wanderers G.A.A. Club was founded in 1910. They played their first match against Clanna Gael Fontenoys in April 1910. The match was played by permission of Padraig Mac Piarais in the grounds of Scoil Eanna, Grange Road Rathfarnham. The club won the inaugural Dublin Junior Football Championship in 1928.
The club disbanded in 1932 and while there some fixtures played in the intervening years, it was not officially reformed until 1961. After winning the Dublin Junior Football Championship in 1968, under the captaincy of Seán Doherty, the Ballyboden Club amalgamated with Rathfarnham St. Enda’s in order to join the senior ranks under the name Ballyboden St. Enda’s
In 1980, a group of breakaway members formed Wanderers. Since then, the club has gone from strength to strength, now fielding numerous football teams and juvenile hurling teams, catering for anyone between the ages of 4 and adulthood. The club boasts 8 acres (3.2 ha) of ground incorporating two playing pitches, and a training area at the panoramic Frank Kelly Park, which was officially opened by former Dublin County Secretary, Mr. Jim King (R.I.P.) in 1991.
The opening of Frank Kelly Park in 1991 was a milestone in the club’s development. It was also significant because it occurred while our eminent Club President Frank Kelly was still alive, making our grounds the first to be dedicated in tribute to a living member of the association, though in breach of the official GAA Rules.
Frank had given a lifetime of service to the club. He died in 1995.
The turning of the first sod of their new clubhouse development, which was performed by Minister Tom Kitt in March 1998, heralded a new era for the club. The clubhouse was officially opened early in 1999.
In 2006 Wanderers opened the latest phase of their development. This included a meeting room and a weights room.
Another major event took place on 29 October 2011 when a group of U-7’s took part in the club’s first ever Hurling training session in preparation for entering an U-8 league in 2012.
Frank Kelly was the father of Wanderers. He was held in such high esteem by all of the members, that the grounds were named after him. Frank was noted for his kindness and thoughtfulness, and used to provide all members with home grown shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day.
Sean Doherty who is now a club trustee is perhaps our most famous member. Having captained us to Junior Championship victory in 1968, Sean later captained Heffo’s Army to two All-Ireland Senior Football Championships. He now owns a bar and restaurant adjacent to our grounds at Rockbrook, Rathfarnham. Many G.A.A. members visit the hostelry, which displays many relics and memorabilia from the decade of the Dubs.
Jim Mannion our former club chairman played inter-county senior football for his native Galway, and was a member of the all-conquering Dunmore McHales club before he won a Dublin Junior Championship with Ballyboden Wanderers in 1968. Jim is currently club treasurer.
Jim Kearns who was a nephew of Frank Kelly, was synonymous with our club since 1961. He was a member of the executive committee all his life and worked tirelessly as secretary for many years. Jim was club treasurer at the time of his death in September 2006