8 April 2007

Frank McCourt

Name: Francis J. McCourt
Born: 9 December 1925, Portadown
Died: 1 June 2006, USA (tbc)
Height: 5.11 ft
Weight: 11.11 st
Position: Left-Half

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 6 Full Caps (1951-1953); Irish FA Representative (1953).
Club Honours: (with Man. City) Football League Division Two Runner-Up 1950/51.

Club Career:

Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Dundalk
43/44
1944
Youth
0/0
-
1/0
Shamrock Rovers
44/45-45/46
-
-
-
-
-
Bristol Rovers
45/46-46/47
Nov-45
-
0/0
-
-
Shamrock Rovers
-
-
-
-
-
Bristol Rovers
49/50-50/51
-
-
32/1
-
-
Manchester City
50/51-53/54
Feb-51
£2,000
61/4
-
-
Colchester Utd
54/55
Jun-54
Nom.
12/0
-
-
Poole Town
-
Free
(Western League)
TOTALS
-
£-
105/5
-
1/0

Biography:
Gerry McCourt had a 40-year association with Dundalk, as player, captain, trainer and coach. It was at the tail end of the 1943/44 season that, whilst club trainer, his teenage son Frank made his senior debut for the Railwaymen. That run-out, during an injury crisis in an Inter-City Cup match against Distillery, proved the young McCourt’s only appearance for Dundalk, and the following season he was playing with Shamrock Rovers. He also served in the RAF during the war.

In November 1945 McCourt was on the move again, transferring to Division Three (South) club, Bristol Rovers. Progress with the Arabs proved slow, and he returned to Shamrock Rovers on loan before finally making his Football League debut in September 1949. Quickly he established himself at wing-half and began to draw the attentions of some big clubs.

In February 1951 McCourt joined promotion chasing Manchester City in a £2,000 deal, and by the end of the season had made 16 appearances as City finished Division Two runners-up behind Preston North End, and claimed a place back in the English top-flight. In January 1952 McCourt scored a rare goal as City picked up a valuable point in their battle to avoid relegation with a 1-1 draw against arch rivals, United.

Obviously impressed, the Irish FA’s selectors chose McCourt as replacement for Birmingham’s Ray Ferris at left-half for a Home Nations match against England in November 1951. He retained his place for two seasons, taking his cap total to six, before losing out himself to the emerging Bertie Peacock. McCourt’s final appearances in an Irish shirt were made in the IFA’s North American tour in the summer of 1953.

Having fallen by the way-side at Maine Road, McCourt returned to Division Three (South) with Colchester in June 1954 for a small fee. Although on the club’s books for two seasons a broken leg sustained against Newport in February 1955 ruled him out for a year and limited him to just twelve firstteam appearances.

After his release by Colchester McCourt played with Dorset-based non-League side Poole Town before emigrating to Canada in February 1957. Settled in Vancouver, he took up employment as a guard in a local prison. Later he moved to Concord, California.

Frank McCourt Website (Historical photos and news articles)

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
20-11-1951 England. A L 0-2 BC
19-03-1952 Wales... A L 0-3 BC
04-10-1952 England. H D 2-2 BC
05-11-1952 Scotland A D 1-1 BC
11-11-1952 France.. A L 1-3 FR
15-04-1953 Wales... H L 2-3 BC

Summary: 6/0. Won 0, Drew 2, Lost 4.


With thanks to Jim Murphy.

6 comments:

Don said...

This is a great page. I couldn't believe I actually found it. How cool! I didn't know there was any information about Frank available online.

Anonymous said...

Frank is my uncle...My father was Gerry McCourt Jnr. Anyone know where Frank's living now?

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to find this site also. Frank was married to a friend of mine Joyce.
After she died about 1994 Frank moved to Washington State where his two daughters lived.

Not sure if he is still there, I'll check on Ancestry.

John Shaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Shaw said...

Frank & Joyce McCourt were my Uncle & Aunt on my Dad's side. I was in their wedding. I thought he became Captain of MCFC but apparently not.

Denise Shaw said...

Big Bear Lake, Washington, DC

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team? (select up to eleven players)

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