The Late Very Rev. Fr. D.J. Slattery, an Irish SMA Priest came to Nigeria in 1941, during the First World War.

He and his other passengers aboard the ship from Liverpool England, landed in Port Harcourt after their ship was bombed in the high seas.

From Port Harcourt they boarded a train to Kaduna and down to Lagos. After reporting to the then Archbishop of Lagos, Archbishop Taylor, he was posted to Ilawe-Ekiti via Oshogbo. He spent six (6) months and he was brought back to Lagos and posted to St. Gregory s College Ikoyi. He felt disappointed because he had no taste for teaching, but he had no choice. However, that posting had to shape his life as an educator as well as a footballer, and sportsman. The location of a police training College with a good field next door to St. Gregory s College gave him an opportunity to play football and games side by side with the Police and PWD teams. He later found himself transformed into a referee both at local and international levels. He got involved in football activities with various football clubs like the railway football club, Ziks athletics club etc. He became a coach, 1 st class referee and indeed the 1 st Nigeria FIFA graded referee, officiating both at local and international matches. He was a member of the Nigeria Football Association and later became the chairman with His Excellency, Sir James Robertson, the Governor-General, as the patron. Sports and especially football made Fr. Slattery more popular than his priestly calling just as success in football almost overshadowed the academic successes which were by no means achievement. His interest in football was such that he said that if cockroaches were to be put together to play football, he would sit down and watch them.

Fr. Slattery’s Achievements and Contribution.

• Vice Chairman of the Society of the Bribe Scorners.

• Assistant Honorary Secretary of the Nigeria Olympic & British Empire Games Association.

• Publicity Secretary of the Lagos District Amateur Football Association.

• Member of the Council of African Students in North America

• Assistant Secretary of the Nigeria Football Association

• Honorary Secretary of the Commonwealth Games Appeal Fund.

• Catholic Representative of the Broadcasting Services (Religious).

• Chairman of the Nigeria Referees Association.

• Chairman of the Council of Social Workers (Boy Scocuts, Catholic Youth Organization, Salvation Army, Brigade, Y.M.C.A, Colony Welfare Organizaton, Girls Guide and Youth Clubs)

• Chairman of the Leper Colony of Nigeria.

• Chairman of the Nigerian Football Association (NFA)

• Editor of the Catholic Herald (Newspaper).

• Foundation Member of the Nigerian Union of Journalist.

• Member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.

• Founder and Principal of St Finbarr’s College Akoka Lagos

• Founder of SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church Shomolu.

• Founder of Our Lady of Fatima Private School, Bariga.

• Founder of St. Joseph’s Vocational school, Akoka.

• Coordinator of T.I.M.E Project Time, Akoka

• Founder of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church

• Founder of St Flavius Catholic Church, Oworonshoki.

• Parish priest of St Denis Catholic Church.

• Vicar – General of the Catholic Church of Nigeria Lagos Archdiocese (RTD)

1 Comment

  1. Remember the Father whilst attending the college during the days of Tony Eyo,striker superb for football team.Was there when Seyi Johnson was a first former (son of the governor at the time).I was one of three mixed race students and life was hard with regards to punishment handed out.Sometimes for no reason but to satisfy the teachers sadistic streaks.

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