18 August 2007

Pat Nelis

Name: Patrick Nelis
Born: 5 October 1898, Londonderry
Died: 22 April 1970, Londonderry
Position: Centre-Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 1 Full Cap (1922); Irish League: 1 Cap (1927).
Club Honours: (with Forest) Football League Division Two Champion 1921/22.

Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Londonderry Distillery
-
-
-
-
Accrington Stanley
21/22
Oct-21
-
11/14
1/0
-
Nottingham Forest
21/22-24/25
Mar-22
£2,000
59/13
1/0
-
Wigan Borough
25/26
1925
-
16/ 1
-
-
Coleraine
-
Sep-27
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
£-
86/18
2/0
-

Biography:

A product of Junior football in the Derry area, Pat Nelis took the bold decision to try his luck with Football League new-boys Accrington Stanley in 1921. His impact on Division Three (North) was immediate, and he scored fourteen times in just eleven games. Consequently, after just six months as a professional footballer he was the subject of a £2,000 bid from Nottingham Forest.

That fee, a then record for a third-tier player, took Nelis to a Forest side on the brink of promotion to the First Division. His six goals, including two against Bradford Park Avenue on his d├ębut  helped confirm the Division Two title, and after just a season in England Nelis was about to appear at the highest level.

An intelligent forward with good pace and a strong right-foot shot, Nelis was rewarded with an international call-up in October 1922. He led the line as Ireland lost 2-0 to England at the Hawthorns in what proved to be his only international appearance. In the First Division he was finding the going tougher than before and in three seasons he scored just seven times, usually from centre-forward or inside-left.

Forest were relegated back to the Second Division in 1925 and Nelis was cleared out, back to Division Three (North), with Wigan Borough. He spent an unhappy season at Springfield Park, scoring just once, before returning to Ireland.

Nelis was a member of the Coleraine side that first appeared in the Irish League for the 1927/28 season.. He quickly made his mark and represented the Irish League at inside-left against the Scottish League at Solitude in October 1927 and he finished the season as the club's topscorer with 16 goals. He remained with Coleraine until 1932.

Ireland Cap Details:
21-10-1922 England A L 0-2 BC

Summary: 1/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1.

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