Born: 14 May 1883, Larne
Died: 13 June 1928
Representative Honours: Ireland: 12 Full Caps (1904-1910); Irish League: 2 Caps (1903-1904).
Club Honours: (with Glentoran) Irish league Champion 1904/05; (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1913/14; Irish Cup Runner-Up 1913/14.
Club.......... --Seasons-- Signed --Fee-- League FA Cup
Larne Red Star
Cliftonville.. 02/03-03/04 ..1899 Amateur ???/??
Glentoran..... 04/05...... May-04 ....... .26/ 1 (all games)
Sunderland.... 05/06-07/08 Jun-05 ....... .39/ 0 .6/ 0
Sheffield Wed. 08/09-09/10 May-08 ....... .44/ 0 .6/ 0
Chelsea....... 09/10-10/11 Apr-10 £ 1,000 .21/ 0
South Shields. 11/12...... May-11 ..l.... (North Eastern League)
Linfield...... 12/13-14/15 May-12 ...l... ???/??
Totals........ ........... ...... £ 1,000 130/ 1 12/ 0
Born in Larne, English McConnell came to prominence with Cliftonville in the early days of the twentieth century. At Solitude he picked up both international and inter-league honours while featuring in a fairly average club side. In all he won two caps while with Cliftonville, and on both occasions Ireland avoided defeat.
Transferred to Glentoran in 1904, McConnell found himself in a much more accomplished team, one that claimed the Irish League courtesy of a deciding Test Match win over Belfast Celtic. In what was his only campaign at the Oval he again featured for both Ireland and the Irish League.
McConnell moved to big-spending Sunderland in 1905. He made his Football League debut at left-half in a 3-0 win over Blackburn that October, but was not a regular in his first season at Roker Park. His second season on Wearside brought much more firstteam involvement, but the club finished a disappointing tenth in the First Division. In his three seasons with Sunderland McConnell won a further four Irish caps, but after just eight appearances in his final season it seemed obvious that he was surplus to requirements.
In May 1908 McConnell signed for Sheffield Wednesday. Once again he was playing for a thoroughly mid-table side, but he was in the team more-often-than-not from his debut, a 1-1 draw at Leicester, on 1 September 1908. In his two seasons with Wednesday McConnell played fifty games for the first eleven and added five more Ireland caps to his collection. His twelfth and final cap came as captain, in a 4-1 defeat by Wales in Wrexham.
Late in the 1909/10 season Chelsea were struggling at the foot of the First Division and sought out a number of experienced players to stave off relegation, McConnell amongst them. Their survival bid failed and consequently all but three of his appearances for the Stamford Bridge club were played in Division Two. After two seasons with Chelsea, McConnell played a year for South Shields before returning to Ireland.
On his return home McConnell joined Linfield where he won his second Irish League winner’s medal in 1914, but was denied the “double” after an Irish Cup Final defeat by former club, Glentoran.
Strong and muscular as a player, throughout his career McConnell featured all across the half-back line as required. His playing days ended with the suspension of regular football in 1915 due to the First World War. He died in 1928, aged just 45.
Ireland Cap Details:
21-03-1904 Wales... A W 1-0 BC
26-03-1904 Scotland H D 1-1 BC
18-03-1905 Scotland A L 0-4 BC
17-02-1906 England. H L 0-5 BC
16-02-1907 England. A L 0-1 BC
14-03-1908 Scotland H L 0-5 BC
11-04-1908 Wales... A W 1-0 BC
15-03-1909 Scotland A L 0-5 BC
20-03-1909 Wales... H L 2-3 BC
12-02-1910 England. H D 1-1 BC
19-03-1910 Scotland H W 1-0 BC
11-04-1910 Wales... A L 1-4 BC
Summary: 12/0. Won 3, Drew 2, Lost 7.