20 January 2008

Bob McIlvenny

Name: J. Robert McIlvenny
Born:
Died:
Height:
Weight:
Position: Inside-Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 2 Full Caps (1890-1891).
Club Honours: (with Distillery) Irish Cup Winner 1888/89; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1888/89; (with Ulster) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1890/91.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
Irish Cup
Other
Genoa
-
-
Amateur
-
-
-
Distillery
88/89-89/90
-1888
Amateur
-
-
-
Ulster
90/91-91/92
Aug-1890
-
-
-
-
Milltown
-
-
-
-
-
-
Distillery
94/95
-1894
Amateur
*17/13
-
#23/13
TOTALS
-
£-
-
-
-
* all competitive games (both spells), # all friendlies (both spells)

Biography:
A product of Genoa, a junior club which became amalgamated with Distillery in 1887, Bob McIlvenny graduated to the Whites first team, making his debut on 10 November 1888. His first campaign brought much success with winner’s medals in the Irish Cup and Co. Antrim Shield. Indeed, the inaugural Shield final held at Ballynafeigh saw McIlvenny score twice in an 8-4 defeat of YMCA. The same opponents were defeated in the Irish Cup Final, though the Charity Cup Final was lost 4-2 to Cliftonville in controversial circumstances.

The following campaign brought further highs-and-lows for McIlvenny. On 15 March 1890 he made his Ireland debut in a side featuring four other Distillery players in a 9-1 defeat by England at Ballynafeigh. A week later he played in a second Co. Antrim Shield Final, a highly controversial 5-3 extra-time defeat by Linfield, in which he became the first Whites player to be sent-off in a Final and was awarded a four week suspension.

In August 1890 McIlvenny moved to Ulster where he played in the first ever season of the Irish League and scored in their 4-2 Irish Cup Final defeat by Linfield. Linfield also pipped Ulster to the League title that season, though McIlvenny’s goalscoring prowess transferred well to the League format. He scored fourteen times from sixteen games as Ulster were unlucky to finish third (having played a game less than the second-place Lancashire Fusiliers Regiment) in 1891/92. While with Ulster McIlvenny won a second cap for Ireland on their visit to Wolverhampton to face England. It was to be a similarly inauspicious occasion as that of his first cap with the English easy 6-1 victors.

McIlvenny moved on to Milltown, a side that had been on the receiving end of one of his most complete performances in an Ulster jersey. On 7 November 1891 he had struck ten past their hapless goalkeeper in a 16-0 Irish Cup third round win, a competition record that stands to this day. He returned to Distillery for the 1894/95 campaign, during which he played in a highly embarrassing 3-1 Co. Antrim Shield Final defeat at the
hands of junior side, Belfast Celtic.

Ireland Cap Details:
15-03-1890 England H L 1-9 BC
07-03-1891 England A L 1-6 BC

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

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