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Jack Burnett

One of the leading “backs” of his generation, Jack Burnett won a plethora of honours, in what turned out to be a tragically short footballing career…

Name: John Burnett
Born: 18 July 1871, Ballymena
Position: Half-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 5 Full Caps (1894-1895); Irish League: 6 Caps (1894-1896)
Cub Honours: (with Distillery) Irish Cup Winner 1893/94; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1892/93; Belfast Charities Cup Runner-Up 1892/93; (with Glentoran) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1895/96.

Club Career:
FA Cup
* all competitive games

Jack Burnett first came to the fore with Distillery in the early 1890s, helping them to three major finals, and two successes. In 1894 he set-up two goals, including a late winner, in a 3-2 Irish Cup Final Replay victory over Linfield.

That same season he won the first of five international caps, in a 4-1 defeat by Wales in Swansea, Distillery team-mate Olphie Stanfield scoring Ireland’s consolation. A week later however, Burnison starred in a 2-2 draw with England at Solitude. The team were “chaired” off the pitch in celebration of the feat – it was the first time Ireland had avoided defeat in 13 matches with England!

Burnett left Distillery for Glentoran in the summer of 1894, adding a further two caps to his total while at the Oval – England avenging their previous embarrassment with a 9-0 win, and Wales being held to a 2-2 draw at Solitude. The following season Burnett captained the Irish League, leading them to a 2-2 draw against the Football League in Stoke, and a 3-2 defeat by the Scottish League in Glasgow. That season the Irish League also played a club side for the first time, losing out 5-1 to Liverpool at Anfield.

The 1895/96 season also saw Burnett appear in another Irish Cup Final, finishing on the end of a 3-1 defeat to his old club, Distillery. During the same campaign he also scored his only senior goal in Glens colours, the opener in a 4-1 City Cup win over Cliftonville.

Jack Burnett suffered a “serious accident” which ended his career in 1896, and Glentoran held off-field testimonial events for his benefit during the 1896/97 season.

Ireland Cap Details:
24-02-1894 Wales... A L 1-4 BC
03-03-1894 England. H D 2-2 BC
31-03-1894 Scotland H L 1-2 BC
09-03-1895 England. A L 0-9 BC
16-03-1895 Wales... H D 2-2 BC

Summary: 5/0. Won 0, Drew 2, Lost 3.

With thanks to Chris Goodwin of England Football Online for forwarding Burnett's correct birth details.