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17 December 2007

Harry Mercer

Name: Harold Victor Aitken Mercer
Born: 22 April 1887, Enniskillen
Died: 6 January 1961, Bangor
Position: Centre-Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 1 Full Cap (1908); 1 Amateur Cap (1908); Irish League: 1 Cap (1908).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1906/07, 1907/08, 1908/09; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1906/07, 1907/08; City Cup Winner 1907/08.

Club Career:

A versatile player, capable as a back or forward, Harry Mercer played in three consecutive title winning sides with Linfield. He made his debut as a 19 year-old outside-right in September 1906 and in his first campaign scored twelve times in 25 appearances to claim a first title as well as the Co. Antrim Shield.

Mercer's good form continued through 1907/08, when he scored ten goals in 26 appearances, as Linfield retained the League and Co. Antrim Shield, adding the City Cup for good measure. In February 1908 he won his only cap, playing at centre-forward against England at Solitude.

The 1908/09 season, in which he completed his hattrick of titles, proved to be Mercer's last with Linfield. It began with selection at right-half for the Irish League against the Football League in September. In November he played outside-right for the Irish Amateur team in a 5-1 defeat by England at Dalymount Park, thus becoming the first Linfield player to win Amateur international recognition.

Mercer's top-class playing career was virtually ended when he was appointed as a Bank Manager in Londonderry, though he did make a brief Irish League return with Derry Celtic in 1910/11.

The Mercer Cup, awarded to the winners of the Fermanagh & Western League, was a gift from Harry Mercer's family jewelry business.

More details on Mercer and pictures of his medals and caps can be found here.

Ireland Cap Details:
15-02-1908 England. H L 1-3 BC

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

Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
21-11-1908 England. H L 1-5 FR

Summary: 1/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1.

With thanks to Roy Cathcart.

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