3 December 2006

Billy Galbraith

Name: William Galbraith
Born: c. 1870, Fleetwood
Died:
Height:
Weight:
Position: Goalkeeper

Representative Honours: Ireland: 1 Full Cap (1890).
Club Honours: (with Distillery) Irish Cup Winner 1888/89; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1888/89.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA.Cup
Other
Mountcollyer
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Clarence
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Distillery
88/89-92/93
c/s-1888
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*55/0
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#47/0
TOTALS
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£-
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-
-
* all competitive games; # friendly games

Biography:
Billy Galbraith began his time at Mount Collyer as a full-back, and as seems to often happen found himself filling in as goalkeeper in an emergency - and loving it! So impressed by "his abilities as a saver and economiser of goals" were Clarence that they stepped in to sign the teenage Galbraith. In a Charity Cup match against Distillery late in 1887/88 campaign he impressed once again, moving to Broadway for the following campaign.

An excellent first season with Distillery brought Galbraith successes in the Irish Cup (5-4 over YMCA) and the Co. Antrim Shield (8-4, again against YMCA), and a runners-up medal in the Charity Cup (losing 4-2 to Cliftoville). Those proved to be his only senior medals, though he did play in Co. Antrim Shield and Charity Cup Final defeats by Linfield in 1890 and 1892 respectively.

Nicknamed 'Johnny Longshirt', Galbraith usually sported an old round hat whilst playing. In a time when goalkeepers were regularly rushed by opposing forwards, Galbraith had no problems dealing with his assailants - throwing them over his shoulder, adjusting his hat, and preparing for the next attack! On Christmas Day 1889, Distillery took on Newton Heath (now Manchester United) in Manchester, and thanks to goals from Olphie Stanfield and Jack Reynolds, as well as an outstanding performance by Galbraith, ran out 2-1 winners.

Described at the time as "a splendid goalkeeper, and but for his in and out form, would be the best in Ireland on his special performance." Consequently Galbraith was capped just once, standing in for Cliftonville's John Clugston, in a 5-2 defeat in Wales at Shrewsbury, in February 1890. He also won inter-city honours while with Distillery, before losing his place to James Thompson mid-way through the 1892/93 season.

Ireland Cap Details:
25-02-1890 Wales... A L 2-5 BC

Summary: 1/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1.

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