The skilful Eddie Crossan found himself in an international set-up with a glut of inside-forwards, and had to wait for younger brother, Johnny to truly show what the Crossans could do in green…
Name: Edward Crossan
Born: 17 November 1925, Londonderry
Height: 5.08 ft
Weight: 11.05 st
Died: 13 June 2006, Londonderry
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 3 Full Caps / 1 Goal (1949-1955).
Glentoran (Irish League) 1945/46 (4/2 Total); Derry City (Irish League); Blackburn Rovers (Football League) 1947/48-1956/57 (287/73 League); Tranmere Rovers (Football League) 1957/58 (39/6 League); Cork Hibernians (League of Ireland).
A mercurial inside-forward, Eddie Crossan played for Glentoran and Derry City during the Second World War. In November 1947 he signed for Blackburn in a £3,000 deal, and he made his Football League debut on 31 January 1948 in a 4-3 win over Sunderland. A week later he scored the first of his 98 goals for the Ewood Park club, but his arrival could not save Rovers from relegation. His best season in front of goal came in 1954/55 when he scored a total of eighteen League goals. That season’s haul included a hat-trick against Rotherham in October and a brace in a 9-0 win over Middlesbrough in November.
Crossan’s international career spanned six years, but just three caps. He made his Irish debut, as stand-in for Peter Doherty, in a 8-2 defeat by Scotland in October 1949. A year later he played in a 4-1 defeat by England, but it was his last cap for nearly five years. At the time Ireland boasted some top inside-forwards; as well as the legendary Doherty, Wolves’ Sammy Smyth, Fulham’s Bobby Brennan, Celtic’s Charlie Tully and Barnsley’s Eddie McMorran were all vying for the number eight and ten shirts. Finally, during his successful 1954/55 season, Crossan was recalled by then manager Peter Doherty. He deputised for Jackie Blanchflower at inside-right, scoring his only goal for his country in a 3-2 defeat by Wales.
Renowned for missing ‘sitters’ almost as much as scoring spectacular goals, Crossan’s close control and dribbling prowess made him a real fans’ favourite. He left Blackburn in the summer of 1957 having played 302 first-team games, falling just short of a century of goals. All but his first season at Ewood Park was spent in the Second Division, as the club just missed out on promotion time-and-again. At 32 years-old he signed for Division Three (North) Tranmere Rovers, playing a single season at Prenton Park before returning across the Irish Sea.
With his playing days behind him, Crossan returned to his native Londonderry to raise his nine children, and no doubt keep an eye on his younger brother, Johnny’s, fledgling playing career. Eddie Crossan died, aged 80, in June 2006 after a lengthy illness.
Tributes to Eddie (OWC)
(Northern) Ireland Cap Details:
01-10-1949 Scotland (h) L 2-8 BIC
07-10-1950 England. (h) L 1-4 BIC
20-04-1955 Wales... (h) L 2-3 BIC 1 goal
Summary: 3/1. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 3.