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28 December 2006

Alfie Harland

Name: Alfred Ireland Harland
Born: 26 November 1897, Cookstown
Position: Goalkeeper

Representative Honours: Ireland: 2 Full Caps (1922); Irish League: 2 Caps (1922); Irish FA Representative.
Club Honours: (with Dunmurry) Steel & Sons Cup Winner 1919/20; (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1921/22, 1922/23; Irish Cup Winner 1921/22.

Club Career:
FA Cup
(Cheshire County League)

1922 proved a vintage year for Alfie Harland; he was Linfield’s regular ‘keeper through their clean-sweep season, represented the Irish League and Irish FA, was capped by Ireland, and gained a move to English giants, Everton.

Few would have believed such a rise to prominence would be possible for Harland, who as the 1921/22 campaign began was Linfield's second choice for the number one jersey behind former international, Fred McKee. Indeed McKee was the man in possession when the season’s first trophy, the Alhambra Cup, was claimed, and it was October before Harland made the first eleven. Firmly established in the side, he played in the Irish Cup final (2-1 over Glenavon), Co. Antrim Shield final (4-1 replay win over Distillery) and Charity Cup final (3-0 over Cliftonville Olympic), as well as claiming winner’s medals in the Gold Cup, City Cup and Irish League.

In May 1922 an Ireland team embarked on a tour of Norway, playing two matches. The first an official international, ended in a 2-1 defeat for Ireland; the second, an inter-association representative match, finished in a 3-1 victory for the IFA over the Norwegian FA. In October Harland represented the Irish League in 5-1 and 3-0 defeats by the English and Scottish Leagues respectively. The same month he was selected for Ireland’s first international of the season, a match which resulted in a 2-0 defeat by England at West Bromwich. With the presence of such illustrious goalkeeping talent as Tom Farquharson and Elisha Scott, it proved impossible for Harland to add to his cap tally.

Within days of the England match Everton stepped in to sign Harland as stand-in for the injured Tom Fern. He made his debut on 4th November 1922 in a 1-0 victory over Arsenal, and held on to the number one jersey through to the following March when Fern returned. After nearly a year of reserve-team football, Harland returned to the Everton first-team in January 1924, retaining his place well into the following campaign before losing out to Jack Kendall and then Harry Hardy. After just four appearances in the 1925/26 season, the last in a 3-2 defeat by Huddersfield on 3rd October, Harland transferred to local non-League football, with Runcorn, in May 1926.

Ireland Cap Details: 

22-05-1922 Norway.. A L 1-2 FR
21-10-1922 England. A L 0-2 BC

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

With thanks to IFCP.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


a note on Alfie

Alfie played for Dunmurry Rec before Linfield signed him, he won the Steel & Sons cup in 1919/20, his younger brother played for Ballyclare Comrades during the mid 1920s


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