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Bob Baxter

A leading light in the early days of Distillery FC, Bob Baxter was prepared to rock Irish football's hierarchy in the name of justice...

Name: Robert Anderson Baxter
Born: 1859, Tullycar, Banbridge
Died: 11 October 1930, Lytham (England)
Position: Half-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 1 Full Cap (1887).
Club Honours: (with Distillery) Irish Cup Winner 1883/84, 1884/85, 1885/86.

Club Career:

A native of Banbridge, Co. Down, Bob Baxter moved to Belfast in 1878 to work at Dunville's Distillery, taking up residence on Grosvenor Street. Already a keen cricketer, he played his part in setting up V.R. Distillery Cricket Club, and was their first captain when they took to the field in 1879. When Distillery Football Club was founded in November 1880, Baxter played no part in their earliest games, not taking to the football field until the 1881/82 season. For the next six seasons he was a regular and steadying influence at half-back, leading Distillery to three consecutive Irish Cup victories.

Baxter was Distillery's representative on the IFA Committee, and when the IFA withheld Irish Cup winners' medals following the 1886 Cup Final due to rough play by both sides during the Final, it was Baxter who took out a successful lawsuit, claiming compensation instead of the medals, against the very same committee of which he was a member!

An upholsterer by trade, after retiring from playing in 1887 Baxter took a brief sabatical from Distillery, but later returned to the club as vice-president, trustee and chairman, as well as returning to the committees of both the County Antrim FA and the Irish FA.

Baxter's younger brother Sam, also of Distillery, later won international recognition.

Ireland Cap Details:
18-02-1887 Scotland A L 1-4 BC

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


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