19 January 2009

Alan McNeill

Name: Alexander McNeill
Born: 16 August 1945, Belfast
Height: 6.00 ft
Weight: 11.01 st
Position: Midfielder

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 1 Under-23 Cap (1968); 7 Amateur Caps / 1 Goal (1963-1966).
Club Honours: (with Crusaders) Irish Cup Winner 1966/67; Ulster Cup Winner 1963/64; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1964/65; (with Oldham) Football League Division Three Champions 1973/74; Division Four third place 1970/71 (promoted).

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Europe
Other
Crusaders
-
-60
Youth
-
-
-
-
-
Detroit Cougars
1967
May-67
Guest
2 (1)/ 0
(United Soccer Association)
Middlesbrough
67/68-68/69
Aug-67
£10k
3 (0)/ 0
0(1)/0
-
-
-
Huddersfield.Town
68/69-69/70
Nov-68
-
1 (1)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Oldham Athletic
69/70-74/75
Oct-68
-
154(16)/19
9(1)/0
5(0)/0
-
3(0)/1
Stockport County
75/76-76/77
Jul-75
-
69 (2)/ 1
2(0)/0
5(1)/0
-
-
Witton Albion
77/78-80/81
-77
-
-
(Cheshire County League)
TOTALS
-
£-
229(20)/20
11(2)/0
10(1)/0
-
3(0)/1

Biography:
Despite attending Belfast High, a "rugby school", Alan McNeill signed with Crusaders as a 15 year-old. He made an early impact with the Crues, helping them to some of their earliest trophy successes and played seven times in Amateur internationals. In October 1963 he scored the only goal against Glenavon in the Ulster Cup Final replay. In 1967 he was amongst the scorers as the Crues handed out a surprise defeat to Glentoran in the Irish Cup Final. That summer he joined up with the Glens squad that travelled as the Detroit Cougars to compete in the USA Eastern Division.

McNeill, who had previously been "watched" by Newcastle and Leeds, transferred to Middlesbrough shortly after returning from the US. He had to wait until mid-way through the 1967/68 season to make his Second Division debut, in a 1-0 win at Aston Villa. Despite his versatility - he could play either as a forward or as a defensive midfielder - McNeill played just four times for Boro. He did earn inclusion in the Northern Ireland Under-23 squad, coming off the bench in a 1-0 win over Wales at Swansea.

Early in the 1968/69 season McNeill was allowed to join Huddersfield, but it wasn't until he joined Oldham in October 1969 that he made a significant impact on League football. By then a strongly built and hard-working attacking midfielder, he made an immediate impact at Boundary Park. He helped the team turn around a nine game run without a win and in 1970/71 aided the Latics to promotion the Fourth Division.

Injuries limited McNeill to just thirteen starts and five appearances from the bench during Oldham's 1973/74 Division Three championship campaign. He left Boundary Park in 1975 for Stockport County before drifting into non-league football two seasons later. He continued to pull on his boots in the Huddersfield League until the age of 46.

Northern Ireland Under-23 Cap Details:
20-03-1968 Wales... A W 1-0 FR sub

Summary: 0(1)/0. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 0.

Northern Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
28-09-1963 England. H W 2-1
16-01-1965 Wales... A D 1-1
03-04-1965 Scotland H D 1-1
25-09-1965 England. H L 0-2
15-01-1966 Wales... H D 0-0
12-03-1966 Scotland A W 3-2 1 Goal
24-09-1966 England. A L 0-2

Summary: 7/1. Won 2, Drew 3, Lost 2.

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