12 April 2009

USA & Canada Tour May - June 1953

In 1953 an Irish FA party set sail for New York for the largest tour they have ever undertaken...

Details from 1953-54 Irish Football Yearbook
Lost 0-4 v. Liverpool FC (ENG)
Ebbets Field, Brooklyn (NY)
[Att: 10,072]
Scorers: none
Team: Uprichard; Graham, McMichael (capt), Blanchflower, Bowler, McCourt; Scott, Crossan, McMorran, Ferris, Lockhart
Report: The Irish side were completely outplayed in the first half, when Liverpool scored three times through Bimpson and Liddell (2). In the second half Blanchflower switched to inside-left and Ferris went to right-half. This put a little more pep into the attack, but they were still very weak around goal. Baron scored again for Liverpool and this ended the scoring, although Frank McCourt had hard luck with a header that struck the crossbar. Uprichard and Blanchflower were very good in defence, while Eddie Crossan worked himself to a standstill in a vain attempt to get the forward line moving. The main failing in the Irish side was their poor finishing.
See also: LFC History #

Won 4-1 v. Hamilton & District FA
Civic Stadium, 
Hamilton (OT)
Scorers: Hughes, D' Arcy (2), Blanchflower
Team: Uprichard; Graham [Bowler], McMichael (capt), Neill, McCabe, McCourt; Shiells, D'Arcy, Hughes, Blanchflower, Scott [Crossan]
Report: On a very warm day it took the Irish side quite a time to settle down, but gradually they got on top. Hughes opened the scoring just after half-time from a cross by Shiells. D'Arcy then shot two good goals and Blanchflower scored another before the end. Hamilton & District got a consolation goal [through George Hunter of Westinghouse] after they had missed a penalty kick. Although there was a slight improvement, there was still a lack of fire in the attack. Sammy Hughes had a good game and showed that he is the leader Ireland requires. Substitutes used during the game-Crossan and Bolwer came on for Scott and Graham (injured).

Won 2-0 v. Ontario FA
Municipal Stadium, 
Toronto (OT)
Scorers: Scott, Hughes
Team: Uprichard; Graham, McMichael (capt), Blanchflower, McCabe, McCourt; Scott, D'Arcy, Hughes, McMorran, Lockhart
Report: This game was played partly under floodlight and the ground was very hard and all against good football. Scott opened the scoring for Ireland with a well taken shot just before half-time. Hughes increased the lead with a brilliant header from Lockhart's corner kick, but still Ireland had to fight hard against a very rugged side, which contained quite a number of foreigners. Uprichard had a good game in goal and Alf McMichael had his best game of the tour so far. Up front, both wingers were good and Sammy Hughes had another excellent game.

Won 2-0 v. Manitoba FA
Osborne Stadium, 
Winnipeg (MB)
Scorers: Hughes, Scott
Team: Uprichard; Graham, Ferris, Neill, McCabe, Casey; Scott, Crossan, Hughes, Blanchflower (capt), Lockhart
Report: This was another match which should have been won by a handsome score. Hughes scored in the first half and also had hard luck with a couple of headers which hit the woodwork. After the interval Scott increased the lead and that ended the scoring. Blanchflower and Casey switched positions in the second half. Outstanding player on view was little Eddie Crossan, with Sammy Hughes and Tommy Casey both working very hard.

Won 10-0 v. Saskatchewan FA
Exhibition Park, 
Moose Jaw (SK)
Scorers: McMorran (4), D'Arcy (2), Crossan (2), Lockhart, Shiells*
Team: Uprichard; Bowler, McMichael (capt), Neill, Ferris, Casey; Shiells, Crossan, D'Arcy, McMorran, Lockhart
Report: The game was a complete farce from start to finish. The original ground was a sea of mud after heavy rain and so the lie of the pitch was changed on to grass, which in some parts was about four or five inches high. Allowing for the long grass and bumps in the ground, the Irish team played quite good football against very poor opposition. It would be unfair to criticise or praise any player under these circumstances. It is sufficient to say that at last Ireland had scored something like the number of goals which is expected of them against such opposition.

Won 3-1 v. British Columbia FA
Callister Park, 
Vancouver (BC)
Scorers: Lockhart, Crossan, Hughes *
Team: Uprichard; Graham, McMichael (capt), Blanchflower, McCabe, McCourt; Scott, Crossan, Hughes, D'Arcy, Lockhart
Report: In this game Ireland met the strongest opposition so far in Canada. The British Columbia FA team had quite a few promising players, one of whom, G. Stewart, is joining Everton FC this season. They made the Irish team pull out all they knew, but in the end, through good goals by E. Crossan, N. Lockhart and. S. Hughes, Ireland won by 3 goals to 1. Outstanding player on the field was Danny Blanchflower, who gave a perfect demonstration of wing-half play.

Won 5-1 v. Victoria FA
Royal Athletic Park, 
Victoria (BC)
Scorers: Hughes (2), Crossan, Ferris, Lockhart
Team: Uprichard; Graham, McMichael (capt), Blanchflower, McCabe [Bowler], McCourt; Scott, Crossan, Hughes, Ferris, Lockhart
Report: After the fine display in Vancouver, Ireland gave a rather disappointing exhibition against a very weak Victoria side. Both wing halves, Blanchflower and McCourt, had an off day, with the result that the forwards did not get the necessary support. Sammy Hughes was unlucky not to score at least four goals, but he once again proved that he is the finest centre-forward that Ireland have at her disposal. G. Bowler substituted for J. McCabe in the second half.

Lost 2-3 v. British Columbia FA
Callister Park, 
Vancouver (BC)
Scorers: Hughes, D'Arcy
Team: Uprichard; Graham, McMichael (capt), Blanchflower, Bowler [Neill], McCourt; Scott, Crossan, Hughes, McMorran [D'Arcy], Lockhart
Report: Ireland lost this match because they had no fight and no method about their play when they were behind. However, the team was not helped by some panic changes in the second half, which brought on Neill and D'Arcy for Bowler and McMorran. The change at centre-half was unfair on Neill who had had no previous experience in this position. and he and Blanchflower soon changed positions. Alf McMichael had a good game, although he gave away the penalty kick which cost Ireland the game. This was a very deserved victory for this British Columbia team, as they played first class football all through and, unlike the Irish team, they took the few chances they got.

Won 9-1 v. Alberta FA
Clarke Stadium, 
Edmonton (AB)

Scorers: Hughes (4), McMorran (3), Crossan (2)
Team: D'Arcy; Graham, McMichael (capt), Neill [Blanchflower], McCabe, Casey; Shiells [Scott], Crossan, McMorran, Ferris [Hughes], Lockhart
Report: After struggling in the first half against poor opposition, the Irish side settled after the interval and played really delightful football. Sammy Hughes, who came on in the second half, scored four goals and kept up his record of having scored in every game in which he took part. Scott replaced Shiells who was injured in the first half, and later Blanchflower and Hughes came on for Neill and Ferris. Tom Casey had a fine game and showed that he would give Frank McCourt a hard battle for the left-half position on this Irish team.

Lost 1-3 v. Liverpool FC (ENG)
Varsity Stadium, 
Toronto (OT) [Att: 18,000]
Scorers: McMorran
Team: Uprichard; Graham, McMichael (capt), Blanchflower, McCabe, McCourt; Scott, Crossan, Hughes, McMorran, Lockhart
Report: Against a very tired looking Liverpool side Ireland gave another disappointing display. The forward line lacked punch and Sam Hughes had to fight a lone battle up the middle, where he met his match in Laurie Hughes. Alf McMichael was outstanding at left-back and Jim McCabe played Billy Liddell, who was at centre-forward, very well for the most part of the game. Baron and [Sammy] Smyth scored for Liverpool in the first half and shortly after the interval Eddie McMorran reduced the lead. However, Baron made the game safe for Liverpool with a goal near full time.
See also: LFC History

Lost 1-4 v. SC Young Boys (SUI)
Delormier Stadium, 
Montreal (QC)
Scorers: McMorran
Team: Uprichard; Graham, McMichael (capt), Blanchflower, McCabe, Casey; Scott, Crossan, Hughes [McMorran], D'Arcy, Lockhart
Report: Originally this match in Montreal was to be against the Quebec FA, but after they had been defeated heavily by Liverpool it was decided to bring this Swiss club side, who were touring USA, up to Montreal to play Ireland in an exhibition game. Unfortunately for Ireland, this Swiss side played really brilliant football - the quick short passing game which is so common among continental sides - and Ireland were completely outplayed. E. McMorran came on for S. Hughes (injured) in the first half. There were few reputations enhanced in the Irish team, although McMichael, Casey and Crossan worked hard all through.

* Alternative sources record the goalscorers in these games as "McMorran (4), Casey (2), Shiels (2), D’Arcy, Lockhart" and " Crossan (2), Lockhart]" respectively.

# LFC History also records that Bimpson and Liddell both scored twice for Liverpool in their first match against the Irish FA, rather than Baron.

Played 11. Won 7, Drew 0, Lost 4. Scored 39, Conceded 18.

.. PLAYER ........... (CLUB) ........... GOALS
Commemorative lapel badge
for members of the touring party
(courtesy of Roy Cathcart)
GK Norman Upritchard. (Portsmouth)
FB Len Graham........ (Doncaster Rovers)
FB James McCabe...... (Leeds United)
FB Alf McMichael..... (Newcastle United)
HB Danny Blanchflower (Aston Villa)....... 1
HB Raymond Ferris.... (Birmingham City)... 1
HB Gerard Bowler..... (Hull City)
HB Billy Neill....... (Glentoran)
HB Thomas Casey...... (Newcastle United).. 2
HB Frank McCourt..... (Manchester City)
FW John Scott........ (Manchester United). 2
FW Bruce Shiells..... (Cliftonville)...... 1 (or 2)
FW Edward Crossan.... (Blackburn Rovers).. 6 (or 5)
FW James D’Arcy...... (Chelsea)........... 5 (or 4)
FW Edward McMorran... (Barnsley).......... 9
FW Sammy Hughes...... (Glentoran)........ 11 (or 10)

FW Norman Lockhart... (Aston Villa)....... 3
......................................... 39
Most programme covers by Gary Spain.

1 comment:

hnisc said...

You can view passenger and border crossing information for the tour party on ancestry.co.uk



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