10 August 2006

Mark Caughey

After a meteoric rise in the Irish League that brought international recognition, Mark Caughey's dream move to full-time football brought a great deal of disappointment...

Name: Mark Caughey
Born: 27 August 1960, Belfast
Height: 5.11 ft
Weight: 12.09 st
Position: Winger

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 2 Full Caps (1986), Junior, Youth Caps; Irish League: 1 Cap / 1 Goal (1986); British Police.
Club Honours: (with R.U.C.) Irish Intermediate Cup Winner 1984/85; 'B' Division Knockout Cup 1982/83, 1984/85; (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1985/86; (with Bangor) Ulster Cup Winner 1991/92.

Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Europe
Others
Glentoran
-
-
Youth
0 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
R.U.C.
-
-79
Amateur
-
(Irish League B Division)
Manchester C.
-
-
Trial
0 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Linfield
85/86
Jul-85
Amateur
25 (-)/ 5
-
-
2(0)/0
21(0)/11
Hibernian
86/87
Jun-86
-
5 (9)/ 0
-
1(0)/0
-
-
Burnley
86/87
Feb-87
Loan
8 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
1(0)/ 0
Hamilton Ac.
86/87-87/88
Mar-87
-
20 (1)/13
-
1(0)/0
-
-
Motherwell
87/88
Oct-87
-
9 (6)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Ards
88/89
c/s-88
-
/ 3
/0
/1
-
/ 6
Bangor
89/90-92/93
Aug-89
-
38 (5)/14
5(0)/1
4(0)/2
2(0)/0
29(3)/16
Glentoran
92/93-93/94
Oct-92
-
10 (3)/ 1
-
-
-
4(0)/ 2
Limavady.Utd
93/94-94/95
Nov-93
-
/ 5
(Irish League B Division)
Portstewart
-
Feb-95
Free
-
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
115(24)/41
5(0)/1
6(0)/3
4(0)/0
54(3)/35

Biography:
Mark Caughey's emergence during the 1985/86 season, his first season in Irish League football, was so rapid that he earned a host of cross-channel admirers, and a place in Northern Ireland's World Cup squad. In fact, so determined were Hibernian to acquire the winger's signature that, when it seemed that an English club were set to snatch him, their chairman and manager flew out to the Northern Ireland training camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico to finalise the deal.

Caughey, a policeman by day, made his name with the RUC playing in the 'B' Division, before being snapped up by Linfield in the summer of 1985. During what would be his only season with the Windsor Park club he scored 16 times and picked up an Irish League winner's medal and Inter-League honours. He also won his first cap, in a World Cup warm-up match with France, in February, adding a second a month later against Denmark.

One of only two Irish League players (Jim Platt being the other), to make it into Northern Ireland squad for the Finals, Caughey did not feature in Mexico, but the 1986/87 season promised much, with full-time football in the Scottish Premier Division, and the prospect of further international honours. His Linfield exit had been controversial however, as an amateur they had not earned a fee from the move and felt somewhat miffed to lose one of their star players for nothing.

It was not to be, Caughey's time at Easter Road proved to be unhappy, with the pace of the Scottish game leaving him looking laboured. Consequently Caughey dropped out of Billy Bingham's thoughts, and found himself loaned to English Fourth Division side Burnley in February 1987 (in what is acknowledged as the clubs worst ever season). The following month he signed for Hamilton Academical, finally making the impression on the Scottish game which he had hoped for. However, his three goals in four starts could not save the club from relegation from the Premier Division.

Caughey continued to shine for the Accies in the First Division, his goal tally reaching double figures by Halloween, and he was snapped up by another Premier Division club, this time Motherwell. His time at Fir Park again proved unhappy, and, an own goal on his debut aside, the goalscoring touch deserted him.

In the 1988 close-season Caughey was allowed to return to the Irish League with Ards. A season later he joined Bangor, as the club embarked on the most successful period in it's history, Caughey scoring in the club's 3-1 Ulster Cup victory over Crusaders in September 1991. He left Clandeboye Park mid-way through the 1992/93 season, missing out on medals as Bangor claimed both the Irish League Cup and Irish Cup that season, to return to Glentoran where he had played as a youth. That season the Glens were dumped out of the Irish Cup at the semi-final stage by none other than Bangor.

After a trophy-less year at the Oval, Caughey finished his playing career with spells at Limavady United and Portstewart.

RUC FC Legend

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
26-02-1986 France. A D 0-0 FR sub
26-03-1986 Denmark H D 1-1 FR sub

Summary: 0(2)/0. Won 0, Drew 2, Lost 0.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The myth that Hibs mistakenly signed him instead of Martin McGaughey are just that - a myth!
Fortunately for Mark the IRA did mistake Martin McGaughey when they abducted him as he was working as a delivery driver. Thankfully the latter was freed when they realised that the wrong man had been taken.









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