17 February 2009

Gerry McCaffery

Name: Gerard McCaffery
Born: Belfast
Position: Inside-Left

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 1 Under-23 Cap (1963); Irish League: 5 Caps (1967-1970).
Club Honours: (with Distillery) Irish League Champion 1962/63; City Cup Winner 1962/63; Irish Cup Runner-Up 1968/69; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1963/64, Runner-Up 1975/76; (with Glentoran) Irish League Champion 1969/70; Gold Cup Runner-Up 1970/71; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1970/71.

Club Career:
Teams......... --Seasons-- Signed --Fee-- --League--
Distillery.... 61/62-62/63
Leicester City 62/63-63/64 Jan-63 ......... 0(0)/..0
Distillery.... 63/64-69/70 Mar-64
Glentoran..... 69/70-71/72 Dec-69 £ 3,000 .63(3)/ 21 (all competitions)
Drogheda Utd.. 71/72 ......................??(?)/..2
Distillery.... 74/75-76/77 Feb-75 ...Free 235(-)/ 96 (all competitions and spells)
AFC Craigavon
Crumlin United

Originally a winger with Distillery, though he made his Whites debut at inside-left, Gerry McCaffery's career would see him appear across the forward line. In 1962/63 he claimed League and City Cup winner's medals before transferring to Leicester City in January 1963. "McCaf" never made the first eleven at Filbert Street, though was capped by Northern Ireland at Under-23 level against Wales in February 1963.

In March 1964 McCaffery returned to Distillery where he claimed a Co. Antrim Shield winner's medal in 1963/64. He converted to centre-forward in the late-sixties, a role in which he proved "an eager chance snapper" with "intelligent positional play" and "a fine shot". His "new lease of life" brought five inter-league appearances and inclusion in the Northern Ireland squad as he regularly appeared among the top scorers in the Irish League.

Glentoran claimed McCaffery's signature in December 1969 after a lengthy chase. It took an Irish League record deal of £3,000 plus two players to prise him from Grosvenor Park. Although his initial goalscoring form with the Glens was impressive, McCaffery did not prove as prolific across his three seasons at the Oval as was hoped. He did however prove a more than capable foil for teammates Tommy Morrow and Jimmy Magill as the Irish League title was claimed in 1970.

On leaving Glentoran in 1972, McCaffery played in the League of Ireland but by the end of 1974 he had retired from football. He was persuaded out of retirement in February 1975 by Distillery where he offered some much needed experience to a poor side over the following three seasons. Later McCaffery would coach Crewe United before managing Crumlin United for a lengthy period with some success.

Northern Ireland Under-23 Cap Details:
27-02-1963 Wales... A L 1-5 FR

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

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