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Tom Farquharson

Name: Thomas Gerard Farquharson
Born: 4 December 1900, Dublin
Died: 1974
Height: 6.01½ ft
Weight: 12.06 st
Position: Goalkeeper

Representative Honours: Ireland: 7 Full Caps (1923-1925); Irish Free State: 4 Full Caps (1929-1931); Welsh League: 1 Cap.
Club Honours: (with Annally 'B') Leinster Youths Cup Winner; (with Cardiff City) Football League Division One Runner-Up 1923/24; FA Cup Winner 1926/27, Runner-Up 1924/25; Welsh Cup Winner 1922/23, 1926/27, 1927/28, 1929/30, Runner-Up 1928/29; FA Charity Shield Winner 1927.

Club Career:
FA Cup
(Leinster Central League)
(Leinster League)
(South Wales League)
(Southern League)
Cardiff City

Tom Farquharson moved to Wales from Ireland in search of work, "coerced" to do by his father in order to escape the influences of the IRA as the Irish War of Independence began to take hold. Lthough he had played football with some success as a teenager in Ireland, in Wales he initially took up rugby, and it was only when Oakdale were short of a goalkeeper that he returned to the game of his youth. He represented the Welsh Section of the Southern League whilst with Abertillery before joining Cardiff City. With Cardiff he went on to win four Welsh Cup winner’s medals and play in two FA Cup finals, most significantly in 1927 when Cardiff’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal took the ‘English’ Cup out of England for the first time.

Farquharson was in no small part responsible for shaping the rules of the game. His tactic during penalties was to move along the goal-line, or as he did during the 1927 FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea, start from behind the goal-line and charge the penalty-taker. In front of 42,853 fans at Ninian Park, Chelsea forward Andy Wilson struck the ball with Farquharson blocking it on the six yard line - the advancing well-built six-footer must have been an intimidating sight! The law was eventually changed so that a ‘keeper had to remain on his line until the penalty kick had been taken.

Capped by both the IFA and the FAIFS, Farquharson’s (Northern) Ireland career was greatly hindered by the presence of Elisha Scott, and he won a total of seven caps between 1923 and 1927. He will be best remembered for his performance in a 2-1 victory over England at Windsor Park in October 1923. Recalled by the IFA for a Home Nations match against Wales in April 1931, the Dublin-born Farquharson turned down the opportunity, electing to turn out for the ‘less-prestigious’ Irish Free State instead. It was to be his third FAIFS cap, having previously tuned out in 4-0 and 3-1 wins over Belgium in April 1929 and May 1930, and he made another telling late penalty save to keep the score to 1-1 against Spain in Barcelona. The following December he won his fourth and final cap in a 5-0 reverse by the Spanish at Dalymount Park. Further Irish Free State caps were denied to Farquharson, along with a number of his international colleagues, due to a dispute between the FAIFS and the Football League.

By the time Farquharson left Cardiff in 1935 his total of 445 League appearances was a club record (he now stands second in the all-time list), and his total in all competitions was 519 games. With his playing days over he remained in Cardiff, returning to his original trade of painter and decorator. Later he emigrated to Canada. Rumours persist about Farquharson carrying a handgun at all times, but there is little to prove the voracity of this claim.

Ireland Cap Details:
03-03-1923 Scotland H L 0-1 BC
14-04-1923 Wales... A W 3-0 BC
20-10-1923 England. H W 2-1 BC
01-03-1924 Scotland A L 0-2 BC
15-03-1924 Wales... H L 0-1 BC
22-10-1924 England. A L 1-3 BC
28-02-1925 Scotland H L 0-3 BC

Summary: 7/0. Won 2, Drew 0, Lost 5.

Irish Free State Cap Details:
20-04-1929 Belgium. H W 4-0 FR
11-05-1930 Belgium. A W 3-1 FR
26-04-1931 Spain... A D 1-1 FR
13-12-1931 Spain... H L 0-5 FR

Summary: 4/0. Won 2, Drew 1, Lost 1.

With thanks to Martin O'Connor.


Anonymous said…
Interesting character!

Anyhow, here is another article on Farquharson which provides some more background:

Ealing Green