17 February 2008

Billy McMillan

Name: William McMillan
Born: Carrickfergus
Died: 1991, Carrickfergus
Height:
Weight:
Position: Right-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 3 "Victory" Caps (1945-1946), 1 "War-Time" Cap (1944); Eire: 2 Full Caps (1946); Irish League: 4 Caps (1947-1948).
Club Honours: (with Belfast Celtic) Irish League Champion 1936/37, 1937/38, 1938/39, 1939/40, 1947/48; Irish Cup Winner 1936/37, 1940/41, 1942/43, 1946/47; Gold Cup Winner; City Cup Winner; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1936/37, 1942/43, 1944/45; Northern Regional "War-Time" League Champion.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA.Cup
Other
Belfast Celtic
32/33-48/49
1932
Youth
-
-
-
Ballymena.United
49/50
Aug-49
-
*25/0
-
-
TOTALS
-
£-
-
-
-
* all games

Biography:
Regarded as the best right-back in Irish League football in the years either side of World War Two, Billy McMillan could consider himself unfortunate to never gain full international recognition from the Irish FA. He did play for Ireland in an 8-4 War-Time "international" defeat by the Combined Services (essentially a Great Britain XI side featuring the cream of available talent such as Matt Busby, Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortenson and Tommy Lawton) at Windsor Park in September 1944. McMillan was also selected at number two for for all three of Ireland's post-war "Victory Internationals" through the 1945/46 season.

Full international recognition did not completely elude McMillan, as he was one of four Northern-born players included in the Eire side that toured the Iberian Peninsula in June 1946. The FAI was attempting to affirm their claim that they represented the whole of the island of Ireland as the IFA had done from its inception. The tour was quite a success for the FAI as their team lost out 3-1 to Portugal and recorded a surprise 1-0 win over Spain.

McMillan spent seventeen years on the books at Belfast Celtic, rising from his signing in 1932 through the Celtic Seconds to become a virtual ever-present from the mid-thirties on. He played in four Irish Cup Finals, never finishing on the losing side and featured in each of Celtic's (war-interupted) six consecutive Irish League title successes. Praised for his consistency of performance and appearance, McMillan also claimed Inter-City Cup, Gold Cup, City Cup, Charity Cup and Co. Antrim Shield medals while at Paradise. His final appearances in the famous hooped jersey were made during the club's swansong tour of the USA in the summer of 1949.

On his return from the US, McMillan was one of several Celtic players to join Ballymena United, where he took the role of player-manager. Unable to arrest the Braidmen's slump in fortunes, he left in May 1950. In March 1955 he was appointed as coach at Distillery.

Ireland Cap Details: (no "Full" appearances)
09-09-1944 Combined Services H L 4-8 War-Time Representative Match
15-09-1945 England.......... H L 0-1 Victory International
02-02-1946 Scotland......... H L 2-3 Victory International
04-05-1946 Wales............ A W 1-0 Victory International

Summary: 4/0. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 3.

FAI Cap Details:
16-06-1946 Portugal......... A L 1-3 FR
23-06-1946 Spain............ A W 1-0 FR

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

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