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17 December 2007

Philip Meldon

Name: Philip Albert Meldon
Born: 18 December 1874, Dublin
Died: 8 April 1942, Marlebone, London (England)
Position: Inside-Right

Representative Honours: Ireland: 2 Full Caps / 1 Goal (1899).

Club Career:
FA Cup
Dublin Freebooters

Philip Meldon’s international career got off to a dream start as he scored the winner after sixty minutes against Wales on his debut. His performance in that match, played on a cold March day at Distillery’s Grosvenor Park, earned him a place for the “bigger” match against Scotland three weeks later. This goal was the only goal scored by a Freebooter player in an International match.

Ireland had only just introduced “Anglos” to their team, but were robbed of all but Archie Goodall (who was at the time under suspension for “disobedience” at Derby County) due to their clubs refusal to grant leaves of absence. Conditions at Parkhead were not ideal for football as, although a heavy snow had been successfully cleared from the pitch, rain pounded for much of the ninety minutes.

The Scots had a field day against an Ireland side that sorely missed their five “mainlanders”. Despite some “clever [and] plucky work” from the Irish forward line their reward was a single second-half goal from Goodall as the rampant Scots racked up nine in reply. Interestingly enough, the Scotland players on show were effectively regarded as being “on trial” for their “big” match against England at Birmingham the following month. The English won that match 2-1 to retain the International Championship.

Meldon’s international career lasted just two caps as he was commisioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery in 1900. He was also to miss out on the biggest day in Freebooters’ history, the Dublin gentlemen’s appearance in the 1901 Irish Cup Final against the Belfast gentlemen of Cliftonville. Meldon also represented Ireland at cricket, a sport at which several members of his family also excelled. His brother James regularly featured alongside him in the Freebooter's forward line.

Meldon served in the Second Boer War until returning home wounded in 1902, though he did successfully return to the cricket field. He was a professor of Artillery and Tactics at the Canadian Royal Military College before the First World War and at the time of his retirement held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Cricket Info

Ireland Cap Details:
04-03-1899 Wales... H W 1-0 BC 1 Goal
25-03-1899 Scotland A L 1-9 BC

Summary: 2/1. Won 0, Drew 1, Lost 1.

Additions and corrections by George Glass.

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