10 September 2006

Bob Crone

One of the earliest hardmen of the Irish game, Bob Crone's talents earned him domestic success, and a move to England...

Name: Robert Crone
Born: 1864, Belfast
Died: January 1943, Barrow-in-Furness
Height: 5.11½ ft
Weight: 12.05 st
Position: Full-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 4 Full Caps (1889-1890).
Club Honours: (with Distillery) Irish Cup Winner 1888/89, Runner-Up 1887/88; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1888/89, Runner-Up 1889/90; Belfast Charities Cup Runner-Up 1888/89; (with Notts Co.) Football League Division Two Champion 1896/97.

Club Career:

Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Distillery
86/87-89/90
-
-
* 30/4
-
# 53/13
Glentoran
89/90
-
-
* 3/0
-
-
Middlesbrough
92/93
Nov-1892
-
(Northern League)
West.Bromwich.Albion
92/93-94/95
Mar-1893
-
40/0
11/0
47/ 0
Millwall Athletic
-
Apr-1895
-
(Southern League)
Burton Swifts
95/96
Aug-1895
-
30/2
-
-
Notts County
96/97-97/98
May-1896
-
32/0
3/0
4/ 0
Bedminster
98/99-99/00
May-1898
-
(Western League)
Bristol City
-
Oct-1901
-
0/0
-
-
Brentford
-
Oct-1902
-
(Southern League)
TOTALS
-
£-
135/6
14/0
104/13
* all domestic games (pre-Irish League); # friendly games.


Biography:
Robert 'Bruiser' Crone, as the nick-name suggests, was a tough tackling full-back who began his career with Distillery in the late 1880s. Along with elder brother Billy, he helped the club to a number of honours, and proved his versatility by playing in the forward line for the 1889 Co. Antrim Shield final, though he wasn't among the scorers in an 8-4 victory over YMCA. Three weeks before that Shield success, Crone had won his first Ireland cap, playing at left-back in a 7-0 defeat by Scotland. He added a further cap to his collection the following year at right-back in a 5-2 defeat by Wales.

Crone played on three occasions for Glentoran late in the 1889/90 season, and made two further international appearances at left-back - there is some dispute as to whether he was registered to Distillery or Glentoran at the time of these outings.

In the early 1890s Crone moved to England and played a season for Northern League Middlesbrough before signing with Football League giants West Brom. He made nearly 100 appearances over three seasons with the Midlands club.

A move to Division Two Burton Swifts allowed Crone to play regular football, and did enough to convince Notts County that he was the man to help them back to the top-flight after a number of near-misses. When the Second Division Championship, and promotion via a Test Match series, was claimed, Crone was largely a bit-part player, making eleven League appearances, but appearing in the four Test Matches at centre-half.

Crone relocated to Bristol, signing with local based club Bedminster and earned a recall to the Ireland panel to play Scotland in March 1899. He did not feature in the match at Celtic Park, Glasgow, and could perhaps count himself lucky as the match finished in a 9-1 defeat.

Appointed Bristol City player/trainer in the summer of 1901, Crone moved on to fulfill the same role at Brentford (1903-08), West Brom (1908-09) and Workington (1909-10). He left football altogether in 1912 to work in the steel industry.

Ireland Cap Details:

09-03-1889 Scotland A L 0-7 BC
08-02-1890 Wales... A L 2-5 BC
15-03-1890 England. H L 1-9 BC
29-03-1890 Scotland H L 1-4 BC

Summary: 4/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 4.


Birth date information from the research of George Glass. Club career details by Martin O'Connor.

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