16 December 2006

Sam Irving

Name: Samuel Johnstone Irving
Born: 28 August 1893, Belfast
Died: 12 December 1968, Dundee
Height:
Weight:
Position: Wing-Half/Inside-Forward
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Representative Honours: Ireland: 18 Full Caps (1923-1931).
Club Honours: (with Dundee) Scottish Cup Runner-Up 1924/25; (with Cardiff) FA Cup Winner 1926/27; FA Charity Shield Winner 1927; Welsh Cup Winner 1926/27; (with Chelsea) Football League Division Two Runner-Up 1929/30 (promoted).
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Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Shildon Athletic
-
-
-
(North-Eastern League)
Newcastle United
11/12
-1911
Trial
0/ 0
-
-
Galashiels United
11/12
-
-
-
Esh Winning
12/13
-1912
-
(Northern League)
Bristol City
13/14-14/15
Nov-1913
-
18/ 4
-
-
Dundee
14/15-18/19
Mar-1915
-
-
-
-
Blyth Spartans
19/20-20/21
-1919
-
(North-Eastern League)
Shildon Athletic
21/22
-1921
-
-
-
-
Dundee
22/23-25/26
-1922
-
160/ 5
-
-
Partick Thistle
23/24
-
Loan
-
-
-
New York Centrals
1925
-1925
Guest
(USA)
-
-
Cardiff City
26/27-27/28
Jun-1926
-
47/ 3
9/1
1/0
Chelsea
27/28-31/32
Mar-1928
-
89/ 5
8/0
-
Bristol Rovers
32/33
May-1932
-
21/ 1
5/1
-
TOTALS
-
£-
335/18
22/2
1/0

Biography:
Sam Irving began his footballing career in the North-East of England, playing for a number of non-League clubs, and in 1911 had an unsuccessful trial with Newcastle United. Finally given his break in the Football League by Bristol City, for whom he signed in November 1913, he made eighteen appearances, mainly at inside-forward, before signing with Dundee in March 1915. After the First World War, Irving had spells back in the English North-East playing with Blyth Spartans, and one of his early clubs, Shildon Athletic, returning to Dundee in 1922.

During his time at Dens Park, Irving won a total of ten caps, including in the famous win over England in 1923, at right-half and left-half. A Scottish Cup runner-up in 1925 when Celtic defeated Dundee 2-1, in June 1926 Irving joined Cardiff City in an exchange deal that took Joe Cassidy the other way. He made his Bluebird’s debut in a 0-0 draw at Leeds early in the season. He remained a regular in the side throughout the campaign, initially at right-half, but later shifting to inside-right, where he played in the 1927 FA Cup Final victory over Arsenal, Cardiff taking the trophy outside England for the first time. He continued as a regular in the Irish half-back line throughout his time at Ninian Park, filling in as inside-left for a match against Scotland in 1927 and also captaining the side.

In March 1928 Irving joined Chelsea, serving as “a sharp-tackling fetch-and-carry” wing-half in their 1929/30 promotion campaign. While with Chelsea, Irving toured South America in 1929. The team were surprised by the unsporting behaviour of their opponents, and antics of the crowd who pelted them with oranges. Irving’s answer was to catch the fruit, peel it and eat it! It was while at Stamford Bridge that Irving brought his international career to a close, winning his final cap at the age of 36 in a 3-2 defeat by Wales. In May 1932 he returned to Bristol, this time signing for Rovers, retiring from playing a year later.

With his playing days behind him, Irving settled in Dundee where he ran a billiards hall. In 1938 he was involved in a takeover of Dundee United, taking control of the team as joint-manager/director for the 1938/39 season. He stepped down from the manager’s role after a year, but remained with the club as a director.
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Northern Ireland Cap Details:
03-03-1923 Scotland H L 0-1 BC
14-04-1923 Wales... A W 3-0 BC
20-10-1923 England. H W 2-1 BC
01-03-1924 Scotland A L 0-2 BC
15-03-1924 Wales... H L 0-1 BC
22-10-1924 England. A L 1-3 BC
28-02-1925 Scotland H L 0-3 BC
18-04-1925 Wales... A D 0-0 BC
13-02-1926 Wales... H W 3-0 BC
27-02-1926 Scotland A L 0-4 BC
20-10-1926 England. A D 3-3 BC
26-02-1927 Scotland H L 0-2 BC
09-04-1927 Wales... A D 2-2 BC
22-10-1927 England. H W 2-0 BC
04-02-1928 Wales... H L 1-2 BC
25-02-1928 Scotland A W 1-0 BC
22-10-1928 England. A L 1-2 BC
22-04-1931 Wales... A L 2-3 BC

Summary: 18/0. Won 5, Drew 3, Lost 10.

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