7 January 2007

Gerry McElhinney

Name: Francis Gerard McElhinney (Gearóid Mac Giolla Chainnigh)
Born: 19 September 1956, Park, Co. Londonderry
Height: 6.02 ft
Weight: 13.00
Position: Central Defender
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Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 6 Full Caps (1983-1984).
Club Honours: (with Plymouth) Football League Division Three Runner-Up 1985/86.
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Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Other
Derry City
-
-
-
0(0)/0
-
-
-
Limavady United
-
-
-
-
(Irish Intermediate)
Dungiven Celtic
-
-
-
-
(Irish Intermediate)
Celtic
-
-
-
0(0)/0
-
-
-
Finn Harps
-
-
Loan
-
-
-
-
FC Berne
1978
-
-
-
(Philadelphia, USA)
Distillery
78/79-80/81
-
-
*32(-)/3
-
-
-
Chicago Sting
1979
-
-
-
(NASL)
Bolton Wanderers
80/81-84/85
Aug-80
£25,000
107(2)/2
8(0)/0
9(0)/0
2(0)/0
Rochdale
82/83
-
Loan
20(0)/1
-
-
-
Plymouth Argyle
84/85-87/88
Jan-85
£30,000
90(1)/2
7(0)/0
4(0)/1
5(0)/0
Peterborough United
88/89-90/91
Aug-88
£10,000
87(0)/1
12(0)/0
8(0)/0
4(0)/0
Corby Town
-
-
-
-
(Southern League)
TOTALS
-
£65,000
336(3)/9
27(0)/0
21(0)/1
11(0)/0
* all games.
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Biography:
Gerry McElhinney initially made his name on the Gaelic football field, winning two Ulster Championships with Derry and in 1975 a GAA All-Star Award (then the youngest player ever to do so). An amateur boxer of some note, he won Mid-Ulster titles at middleweight and light-heavyweight, he also excelled on the soccer field, earning a move to Celtic. Unable to make a mark at Parkhead he returned to Ireland initially on loan to Finn Harps, then spent some time in America, before signing with Distillery. His robust style of defending brought the attentions of English clubs, and in August 1980 he made a £25,000 move to Bolton Wanderers.
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McElhinney took some time to establish himself at Bolton, but was obviously in the plans of Billy Bingham who included him in a number of pre-1982 World Cup squads. It was not until November 1983 that he won his first cap, thrown into the deepend as Northern Ireland faced West Germany in Hamburg. Unpeturbed by the situation, he was a rock as a famous 1-0 win was attained, completing a home and away double over the Germans. A regular in the team for the following year, McElhinney then helped Northern Ireland claim the last ever British Championship. After that he began to fall behind McClelland, O'Neill and McDonald, and was only an occasional squad member up to the 1986 World Cup.
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Bolton's relegation to Division Three in 1983 gave McElhinney the opportunity to establish himself in the firstteam in the wake of the departure of Maike Walsh and Sam Allardyce. He retained his place until transferred to Plymouth in a £30,000 plus deal in January 1985. The Pilgrims' fans quickly took to him, appreciating his rugged but fair style of play, and christened him 'Rambo'. In 1986 McElhinney captained the club's promotion to Division Two, and proved a steadying influence as they finished in seventh place in their first season.
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Injuries began to take their toll on McElhinney, and in August 1988 he made a cut-price £10,000 move to Peterborough. He battled on gamely for three seasons with Posh, before joining the club's coaching staff. Later he would return to the playing field with non-League Corby Town, where he was also joint player-manager in the mid-1990s. Appointed manager of Central Midlands League club Graham Street Pimms in the summer of 2006, McElhinney left the club in December after a run of poor results.
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Northern Ireland Cap Details:
16-11-1983 West Germany A W 1-0 ECQ
13-12-1983 Scotland.... H W 2-0 BC
04-04-1984 England..... A L 0-1 BC
22-05-1984 Wales....... A D 1-1 BC
27-05-1984 Finland..... A L 0-1 WCQ
12-09-1984 Romania..... H W 3-2 WCQ

Summary: 6/0. Won 3, Drew 1, Lost 2.

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