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29 October 2008

Ned Spiller

Name: Edward Ashley Spiller
Born: 22 November 1861, Belfast
Died: 23 March 1896, Portsmouth (England)
Position: Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 5 Full Cap (1883-1884).
Club Honours: (with Cliftonville) Irish Cup Winner 1882/83, Runner-Up 1881/82; Charity Cup Winner 1883/84.

Club Career:
Cliftonville 1881/82-1883/84

Ned Spiller played in consecutive Irish Cup Finals with Cliftonville. In 1882 he was part of the side defeated 1-0 by Ulster in the season's showpiece. The following year was quite different however as a re-shaped Reds forward-line free-scored their way to the trophy. In the semi-final Cliftonville crushed Alexander 7-0, with Spiller scoring twice, and in the Final they gained revenge against Ulster, winning by five goals to nil. He played his final game for the Reds on the 3rd May 1884 in a 2-0 win over Distillery in the Charity Cup Final.

Capped five times by Ireland, he featured at both outside and inside-left. In March 1883 he was part of the Irish side which drew 1-1 with Wales - the first occasion on which they avoided defeat. Every other international in which he appeared resulted in a heavy defeat. His third cap, won against Scotland in January 1884, was in the first ever British Championship match.

Spiller studied medicine at Queen's College, Belfast and graduated from the Royal University of Ireland in 1885. He was appointed as a surgeon to the Admiralty on 20th February 1886 and served over the following few years on HMS Impregnable (1886), HMS Martin (1887), HMS Albacore (1888-1890) and HMS Excellent (1890-1892). In 1892 he took up an appointment as Surgeon to the Royal Naval Hospital, Jamaica where he served for three years. At the time of his sudden death in 1896 he was working in the Portsmouth Division Royal Marines.

Described in his obituary as: "a universal favourite, and his unexpected death is much regretted by a large number of friends at home and abroad, and by the officers and men of the Division."

Ireland Cap Details:
24-02-1883 England. A L 0-7 FR
17-03-1883 Wales... H D 1-1 FR
26-01-1884 Scotland H L 0-5 BC
09-02-1884 Wales... A L 0-6 BC
23-02-1884 England. H L 1-8 BC

Summary: 5/0. Won 0, Drew 1, Lost 4.

Additional details by George Glass.

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