4 March 2018

Northern Ireland Players in the English Top Flight 1946/47

OVERVIEW -
1946/47 - 1956/57 - 1966/67 - 1976/77 - 1986/87 - 1996/97 - 2006/07 - 2016/17 -

Players: 15Appearances: 381Goals: 40Average Games per Player: 25.4 [max: 42]

This was the first season of proper League football after the Second World War. It was a boom time for the game as fans flocked to see their returning stars and some new faces who were chomping at the bit after having missed out on six years of their playing careers. Of the 15 Irish internationals that featured this season, seven (marked *) were born south of the border, however, the era of Dual Internationals had just a few years left to run.

Gerry Bowler (age 27) Portsmouth 4 league games / 0 goals  
Right-back, recruited from Distillery just prior to the resumption of proper football. Spent three seasons at Portsmouth, making just eight appearances and did not make his Ireland debut until after transferring to Hull in 1949.
Caps: 0 (to start of 46/47 season) + 0 (during season) + 3 (after season) = 3 (career caps)
Bobby Browne (age 34) Leeds United 19/0
A wing-half, Browne had been at his peak when war broke out. Having signed for Leeds from his native Derry City, he won six caps from 1935-1938, and no doubt more would have followed if not for hostilities. At 34, he managed just one top-flight season post-war as Leeds were relegated and Browne dropped further down for a last league hurrah with York City in Division Three North.
Caps: 6 + 0 + 0 = 6
Jackie Carey* (age 27) Manchester United 31/0
A versatile half-back and one of the biggest names of the age. Carey had served in the British Army through the war and had been offered big money to settle in Italy. He resisted and returned to a bombed out Old Trafford, a stadium that he had first graced in 1936. He captained United to the FA Cup in 1948 (the first "foreign" player to do so) and the League title in 1952 before retiring a year later.
Caps: (IFA) 0 + 4 + 3 = 7 (FAI) 10 + 3 + 16 = 29

Davy Cochrane (age 25) Leeds United 38/7
Cochrane had established himself on the wing for Leeds just prior to the outbreak of the war while still a teenager and was just 18 when first capped. Through the war years he returned to Ireland and kept sharp guesting in the competitive Northern Regional League, notably with Linfield. As League football resumed, he returned to a Leeds United that were a shadow of their former selves and finished bottom. He remained at Elland Road until 1951.
Caps: 2 + 3 + 7 = 12
Peter Doherty (age 33) Derby Co 15/7 & Huddersfield T 19/7
Despite his advancing years, Doherty was still rated among the greatest players of the day. He had scored in Derby's 1946 FA Cup final win and became a big money mid-season gamble when lured to Huddersfield. His seven goals helped keep the Terriers in the top flight, a position they retained through his three seasons at Leeds Road despite their being perennial strugglers.
Caps: 10 + 2 + 4 = 16
Tommy Eglington* (age 23) Everton 34/5
Eglington had made his name, and been first capped by Eire, with Shamrock Rovers before Everton spent big to bring him across the Irish Sea just prior to the resumption of the Football League. He made an immediate impact at Goodison, earning international recognition from both Irish teams within his first few months on Merseyside. He spent over a decade with Everton suffering relegation and enjoying promotion.
Caps: 0 + 2 + 4 =6 (IFA) 2 + 3 + 19 = 24 (FAI)
Peter Farrell* (age 23) Everton 27/0
A contemporary of Eglington's at Shamrock Rovers, the duo had won their first Eire caps in the same match in June 1946, enjoyed a joint transfer to Everton for the 46/47 season and were then first capped by the IFA in the same match. A wing-half, Farrell's career at Goodison also almost exactly mirrored that of Eglington's with relegation and promotion. He was also later to become club captain.
Caps: 0 + 2 + 5 = 7 (IFA) 2 + 2 + 24 = 28 (FAI)
Bill Gorman* (age 35) Brentford 34/0
Gorman was an established Eire international before the war and had played a top-flight season before football was halted. At 35 he was definitely a veteran, but the Irish FA couldn't ignore a top-flight defender and he played in each of that season's Home Nations matches. Brentford however were relegated and the following season Gorman won his final cap.
Caps: 0 + 3 + 1 = 4 (IFA) 11 + 2 + 0 = 13 (FAI)
Bill Hayes* (age 30) Huddersfield Town 18/0
An established First Division player before the Second World War, Hayes' resolute defending helped Huddersfield ward off relegation in 1947 and also earned him two Eire caps to add to the IFA caps he had won in the seasons before the suspension of league football. He remained with Huddersfield, all the time a First Division club, until 1950.
Caps: 4 + 0 + 0 = 4 (IFA) 0 + 2 + 0 = 2 (FAI)
Con Martin (age 23) Leeds United 8/0
Martin had won his first cap for the FAI while with Drumcondra in June 1946. He spent the first half of the 1946/47 season with Glentoran and it was during this time that he was first capped by the IFA. A gifted goalkeeper, he preferred playing in defence and it was for his outfield talents that Leeds spent big. He couldn't helped them ward off relegation, but he later played regularly in Division One for Aston Villa.
Caps: 0 + 1 + 5 = 6 (IFA) 1 + 2 + 27 = 30 (FAI)
Jimmy McAlinden Portsmouth (age 28) 32/5
A gifted "schemer" McAlinden had won caps and earned a big-money move to Portsmouth prior to the war and in 1939 was an FA Cup winner. Shortly before the resumption of the league he became one of the few northern-born players of the era to win FAI caps. He returned to the IFA's team for their first post-war international, but the inside-forward role was one where there were plenty of options. He spent another few seasons in the First Division following a high-profile transfer to Stoke.
Caps: 2 + 1 + 1 = 4 (IFA) 2 + 0 + 0 = 2 (FAI)
Jim McCabe Middlesbrough (age 27) 27/0
No-nonsense wing-half McCabe had signed for Middlesbrough as a teenager in 1937, but had to wait nearly a decade for his senior debut. He quickly established himself in Boro's first eleven through the 46/47 season, but it would be another year, and after dropping down a division to play for Leeds, before he earned his first international recognition.
Caps: 0 + 0 + 6 = 6
Joshua Sloan (age 26) Arsenal 30/1
Before the war, Sloan had been on the books of Manchester United and Tranmere but his only senior appearances were struck from the record books coming during the abandoned 38/39 season. Having impressed while guesting for a number of clubs in the war years and in two Victory Internationals, he joined Arsenal in May 1946. The following month he toured Iberia with the FAI and won his only IFA senior cap late in the 46/47 season. Sloan lasted little over a season with Arsenal, but stayed in Division One with Sheffield United
Caps: 0 + 1 + 0 = 1 (IFA) 2 + 0 + 0 = 2 (FAI)

Alex Stevenson* (age 33) Everton 30/8
Diminutive inside-forward Stevenson was established both internationally and in the First Division prior to the war. Indeed he was a champion with Everton in the final completed season. Despite being in the veteran stages of his career when normality resumed he retained his place for both club and country(s). He managed another two top flight seasons before retiring just before his 37th birthday.
Caps: 14 + 2 + 1 = 17 (IFA) 1 + 3 + 3 = 7 (FAI)
Jim Twomey (age 32) Leeds United 15/0
Another established Division One player from before hostilities, Twomey had also managed to claim two Ireland caps despite some serious competition for the 'keeper's spot. He guested for Linfield during the war, featuring in the 1944 Irish Cup final defeat by Belfast Celtic. He also featured for Leeds in war-time league matches but when peacetime football resumed he found himself in-and-out of the team as they were relegated. He spent two more seasons at Elland Road.
Caps: 2 + 0 + 0 = 2

Where The Trophies Went

Champions
Runners-Up
First Division
Liverpool
Manchester United
Relegated
Brentford
Leeds United

Second Division
Manchester City
Burnley
FA Cup
Charlton Athletic
Burnley

International Results
Ireland
(Lockhart 2)
2-7
England
BC
Scotland
0-0
Ireland
(-)
BC
Ireland
(Stevenson, Doherty)
2-1
Wales
BC

British Championship Table

Pl
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
England
3
2
1
0
11
3
8
5
Ireland
3
3
1
1
4
8
-4
3
Wales
3
1
0
2
4
6
-2
2
Scotland
3
0
2
1
2
4
-2
2

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