19 January 2008

Tom Willighan

Name: Thomas Willighan (often listed incorrectly as Willingham)
Born: 22 March 1903, Belfast
Died: 7 July 1936
Position: Full-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 2 Full Caps (1932-1933).
Club Honours: (with St Mary's) Steel & Sons Cup Winner 1925/26; (with Willowfield) Intermediate League Champion 1927/28; Steel & Sons Cup Winner 1927/28.

Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Forth River
-
-
-
(-)
St Mary’s
-
-
-
(Intermediate League)
Willowfield
-
-
-
(Intermediate League)
Burnley
29/30-33/34
Mar-28
-
59/0
2/0
-
TOTALS
£-
59/0
2/0
-

Biography:
Belfast-born Tommy Willighan moved to English football after a long apprenticeship at intermediate level in Ireland. Normally a right-back, he made his debut for Burnley in their 1929/30 relegation season, but didn’t establish himself until 1931/32, consequently all but two of his Clarets appearances were made outside the top-flight.

Capped for the first time as left-back against Wales in December 1932, Willighan was part of an Ireland side suffering a disappointing season, culminating in a 4-1 victory for the Welsh. The following Home Nations campaign got off to a flyer with a 2-1 victory over Scotland at Parkhead. Willighan’s full-back partnership with Bertie Fulton was singled out as one of the day’s major successes.

The Willighan-Fulton partnership never made the field of play again as Willighan’s career was ended by injury towards the end of 1933. Worse was to follow as he was struck down by cancer, and died aged just 33 in July 1936. He left behind a five month old son, Thomas Junior, who remained in Burnley.

Ireland Cap Details:
07-12-1932 Wales... A L 1-4 BC
16-09-1933 Scotland A W 2-1 BC

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


Additional information kindly supplied by IFCP and Martin O'Connor.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jcd

The picture of Tom is from his days at St Mary's he was the winning captain of the 1925/26 Steel & Sons cup, Intermediate first division side St Mary's beat the Intermediate second division side Summerfield by 4-0 at Solitude

I have a picture of the full team and there he is wearing the exact same shirt



IFCP

jcd said...

Cheers IFCP!

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