12 April 2007

John Lemon

Name: John Lemon
Born: 19 May 1864, Greyabbey
Died: 3 December 1913, Preston (England)
Height:
Weight:

Position: Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 3 Full Caps / 2 Goals (1886-1889); Ulster Representative.
Club Honours: (with Glentoran) Belfast Charities Cup Runner-Up 1885/86; (with YMCA) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1888/89; Belfast Charities Cup Runner-Up 1886/87; Co. Antrim Shield Runner-Up 1888/89; (with Cliftonville) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1888/89.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
Irish Cup
Other
Glentoran
82/83-85/86
-
Amateur
-
/5
-
Y.M.C.A.
86/87-88/89
c/s-1886
Amateur
-
-
*1/0
Cliftonville
-
-
Amateur
-
-
*1/0
TOTALS
-
-
-
-
-
* English FA Cup

Biography:
A member of Glentoran in their first ever season, John Lemon was a player of “firsts”. He featured in the club’s first ever Irish Cup game, a 9-0 defeat by Ulster on 27 January 1883 – even then the match was abandoned after 40 minutes. The following season Lemon became the first Glens’ player to score a hat-trick, Albert defeated 5-1 in a friendly (these were the days when the Irish Cup was the only organised competition). Lemon remained Glentoran’s most potent goalscoring threat over the next few seasons. He netted 
(what is believed to be) the clubs’ first competitive hattrick in a 7-1 Irish Cup second round win over Ligoneil in December 1885. In January 1886 he played in Glentoran’s first ever final, Cliftonville winning 5-1 in the Charities Cup decider at Ballynafeigh.. In April 1886 Lemon became the first Glentoran player to win international recognition, playing in the forward-line in a 5-0 defeat by Wales at Wrexham.

At the end of the 1885/86 season Lemon left Glentoran for Belfast YMCA. With YMCA Lemon appeared in three major finals, without claiming a winner’s medal. In the spring of 1887 YMCA lost 3-2 in the Charities Cup to Cliftonville, and in March 1889 there was double heart-break at the hands of Distillery – the Whites narrowly defeating YMCA 5-4 in the Irish Cup Final (Lemon scoring twice) and two weeks later, in the Co. Antrim Shield Final, they claimed a much more convincing 8-4 triumph (Lemon scoring once).

Lemon claimed his second cap while with YMCA, two years and six matches after his first. The home match against Scotland, played at Oldpark Avenue, got off to a busy start, Lemon’s 18th minute goal taking the scoreline to 1-3 and by half-time the score was 7-2 in the Scots favour. They must have eased off in the second half as the final score finished 10-2. It was over a year before Lemon was awarded his third and final cap, and once again he was a goalscoring loser as Ireland were defeated 3-1 by Wales at Ballynafeigh.

In 1889 YMCA were effectively amalgamated with Cliftonville, who became Lemon's new team. He played in the 1890 Irish Cup Final 2-2 draw with the Gordon Highlanders Regiment, but missed the 3-0 replay defeat the following Wednesday. John Lemon died aged 49, in Preston, in December 1913.

Ireland Cap Details:
27-04-1886 Wales... A L 0- 5 BC
24-03-1888 Scotland H L 2-10 BC 1 Goal
27-04-1889 Wales... H L 1- 3 BC 1 Goal

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

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