8 July 2007

Andy McCluggage

Name: Andrew McCluggage
Born: 1 September 1900, Larne
Died: 14 October 1954, Burnley (England)
Height:
Weight:
Position: Right-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 13 Full Caps / 2 Goals (1922-1931).
Club Honours: (with Bradford) Football League Division Three (North) Runner-Up 1922/23 (not promoted); (with Dundalk) President’s Cup Winner 1930/31.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Invervale
-
-
-
(Irish Junior Alliance)
Cliftonville
-
-
Amateur
-
-
-
Bradford Park Avenue
22/23-24/25
May-22
-
85/ 2
9/0
-
Burnley
25/26-30/31
May-25
-
204/22
9/2
-
Dundalk
30/31-31/32
May-31
-
13/ 2
-
5/0
Preston North End
31/32
Dec-31
-
3/ 0
-
-
Morecambe
-
-
-
(Lancashire Combination)
Larne
-
Mar-33
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
-
305/26
18/2
5/0

Biography:

A star defender in a mediocre Cliftonville side of the early 1920s, Andy McCluggage’s efforts earned him selection for the Irish League side to face the Welsh League in 1922. In the end the match was postponed, and later abandoned altogether, meaning he was never to earn inter-league recognition. The reason he was never given a chance was his transfer to Bradford Park Avenue, then of Division Three (North) in 1922. In his first season with Park Avenue, who had only just been relegated from Division Two, McCluggage helped them to finish as runners-up, though at that time only the champions were rewarded with promotion.

Still playing in the third tier of English football, McCluggage was awarded an international cap in October 1923 as Ireland attained a famous win over England. It was second appearance at international level having played in the in-experienced Ireland side that traveled to Norway in 1922. In May 1925 he moved on to Burnley, where he got of to the worst of starts. On his debut, on the opening day of the 1925/26 season, Burnley suffered their worst ever defeat, 10-0 at Aston Villa. Despite the inglorious opening to his time at Turf Moor, McCluggage established himself as a virtually ever-present right-back for six seasons. He also proved versatile, slotting in at left-back when required, and showed all the attributes one could want from a defender – fast, he was seldom outpaced, with “swift powers of recovery”, he also knew the value of clearing the danger zone as quickly as possible. An adept penalty-taker, McCluggage’s goal ratio would also be the envy of many a more attacking player.

After over three years outside the international scene, McCluggage was recalled to the Ireland line-up in February 1927. He was first choice at right-back for the following four seasons, scoring twice in his twelve appearances. He was the 'other' goalscorer in the famous 1930 7-0 win over Wales at Celtic Park (Joe Bambrick claiming a double hattrick) and scored a penalty in a 2-2 draw against the same opposition the previous year.

McCluggage left Burnley via the ‘back-door’, signing with Free State League side Dundalk in May 1931. He made his debut in the President’s Cup final clash with Shamrock Rovers on 23 May, with the replay held over to the next season. When the replay was held on 9 September Dundalk ran out 7-3 winners, so claiming their first ever trophy. Although he left the Athletic Grounds in December 1931, after just six months and seventeen appearances, McCluggage’s contribution to Dundalk’s first trophy success was recognised with selection in the club’s “All-Time XI” selected in 1956.

Keen to return to the Football League, McCluggage secured his release from Dundalk in order to join Preston North End. The financial package arranged between the two clubs proved highly lucrative to the Railwaymen, covering all McCluggage’s wages “and left a little over’. He made his Preston debut, in a 2-2 draw at Burnley, on Christmas Day 1931. That proved to be one of just three appearances for the Deepdale club.

After leaving Preston in 1932, McCluggage played with Morecambe before returning briefly to his native Larne. Described as “bright and breezy with a friendly disposition”, he later settled in Burnley where he worked as a maintenance engineer at Huncoat Pit up to his death in 1954.

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
22-05-1922 Norway.. A L 1-2 FR
20-10-1923 England. H W 2-1 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
02-02-1929 Wales... A D 2-2 BC 1 Goal
23-02-1929 Scotland H L 3-7 BC
01-02-1930 Wales... H W 7-0 BC
1 Goal

20-10-1930 England. A L 1-5 BC
22-04-1931 Wales... A L 2-3 BC

Summary: 12/2. Won 3, Drew 2, Lost 6.


With thanks to Jim Murphy and Martin O'Connor for their substantial inputs.

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