Eamon Dunphy hopes Tolka Park will remain in use for sport despite Shelbourne opting to end their stay at the Drumcondra venue.

Shels will be co-tenants of Dalymount Park with Bohemians once the redevelopment takes place to turn it into a 10,000-seater stadium.

Financially-struggling Shels admitted that Tolka was “increasingly showing its age and there was no prospect of attracting investment to redevelop” in their statement this morning.

The RTÉ Soccer analyst is keen to see it remain for sporting purposes.

He said: “I know Dublin City Council are acquiring it now. It really be preserved as a sports ground, as an arena.

“Milltown, which was a great shrine on the south side for Shamrock Rovers, that [was] sold for development. It would be very sad if Tolka wasn’t used as a football amenity.

“Kids could play there, schoolboy football, junior football, if there isn’t a League of Ireland club.

“But it definitely is a landmark of what we could call the 'rare auld times' for me. I have very, very beautiful and fond memories of seeing amazing things there.”

He said it was a “sad” day for Irish football and revealed some of his favourite memories of the famous ground.

“It’s very, very sad. I was born about 25 yards from Tolka Park. It was a great, really heart of northside soccer and Dublin soccer in the '50s, when Shamrock Rovers and Drumcondra used to play there and have these northside versus southside wars.

“The first floodlight match in Ireland was played there in 1953, I think. St Mirren came over from Scotland and it was like being on another planet to see floodlight football.

“I saw the Harlem Globe Trotters there, I saw Jack Doyle wrestle there, the famous boxer, so it’s a very sad day and a lot of people will have fond memories of Tolka.”