8 December 2009

Ossie Bailie

Name: Oswald Bailie
Born: c.1923, Ballymena
Died: 5 December 2015, Antrim (age 92)
Height:
Weight:
Position: Goalkeeper

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 1 Amateur Cap (1955).
Club Honours: (with Ballymena) Festival of Britain Cup Winner 1951/52.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Ards
-
-
Amateur
-
-
-
Belfast Celtic
48/49
-48
Amateur
-
-
-
Cliftonville
-
-
Amateur
-
-
-
Ballymena United
51/52-52/53
-
Amateur
13/0
6/0
10/0
Distillery
-
-
Amateur
-
-
-
Cliftonville
-
-
Amateur
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£0
-
-
-


Biography:
Ossie Bailie was picked-out as a goalkeeper with potential by the legendary Elisha Scott who signed him for Belfast Celtic from Ards IIs. Bailie made his debut for Celtic on Christmas Day 1948 in a 5-0 win away to his hometown team, Ballymena United. Two days later regular custodian Kevin McAlinden returned to the side that faced Linfield for the infamous Boxing Day clash that preempted Belfast Celtic's withdrawal from the Irish League. Injuries sustained by McAlinden during the riot gave Bailie a run in the firstteam. Much to Bailie's regret, the return to fitness of McAlinden denied him a place in Celtic's "farewell tour" of America in the summer of 1949.

A multi-talented sportsman, Bailie chose to remain an amateur so that he could continue to play representative tennis. He also played cricket, notably as an opener for the Cregagh team that won the Senior League in 1947 and, in later life, bowls. Following Belfast Celtic's resignation from the Irish League he signed with Cliftonville, then the only all-amateur club playing in senior football. 

In May 1952 Bailie was a member of the Ballymena side that won the one-off Festival of Britain Cup as he kept a clean-sheet in the 3-0 final win over Crusaders. Around this time he was still playing cricket for Mid-Antrim (later Ballymena) CC, with whom he would feature in the 1958 Junior Cup and 1974 Senior Cup finals. Indeed, he was still featuring on the crease as he approached his sixtieth year.

Bailie was capped once at Amateur level in 1955 while back playing with Cliftonville. It proved an inauspicious occasion as a visiting England team cruised to a 4-1 victory in front of 8,000 fans at Solitude.

Ulster Cricketer 

Northern Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
17-09-1955 England. H L 1-4

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

Ballymena career details courtesy of Neil Coleman - The Official History of Ballymena United FC. 

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