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Anton Rogan

Name: Anthony Gerard Patrick Rogan
Born: 25 March 1966, Lenadoon (west Belfast)
Height: 5.11 ft
Weight: 12.06 st
Position: Defender

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 18 Full Caps (1987-1996).
Club Honours: (with Celtic) Scottish League Champion 1987/88; Scottish Cup Winner 1987/88, 1988/89, Runner-Up 1989/90; Scottish League Cup Runner-Up 1990/91; (with Sunderland) FA Cup Runner-Up 1991/92.

Club Career:
FA Cup
FL Cup
Cromac Alb.
(Amateur League)
*72 (-)/ 1
116(12)/ 4
45 (1)/ 1
Oxford U.
56 (2)/ 3
30 (6)/ 8
10 (5)/ 0
Banbury U.
(Hellenic League)

Like fellow west-Belfast natives Mal Donaghy and Gerry Armstrong, Anton Rogan began as a highly rated star of Gaelic Games before trying his hand at soccer and coming to prominence with Amateur League side Cromac Albion. Spotted by Distillery manager Roy Welsh playing in an end-of-season tournament at Ballyskeagh, he went on to star in the Whites’ defence for three seasons. Big and strong, he was most at home at left-back but also appeared in the centre of defence and in midfield.

Rogan began to attract the attentions of cross-channel scouts and was due to travel to Celtic for a trial in October 1984. He suffered a broken leg in an Irish League match against Crusaders that ruled him out until the following spring. On his return Celtic invited Rogan to join them for a tour to Holland, but disaster struck again as he suffered a second leg break, the fracture having failed to heal properly. Celtic still hadn’t lost interest in the youngster, and again invited the fit again Rogan on tour at the end of 1985/86. This time, in Switzerland, Rogan proved both his talent and fitness and Celtic took the opportunity to make Rogan a permanent signing.

It was January 1987 before Rogan made his Celtic debut, Hamilton Academicals crushed 8-3 at Parkhead. He was the Bhoy’s regular left-back through their Centenary year as the Scottish League and Cup Double was won, his run setting up Frank McAvennie for a late equaliser in the Cup Final against Dundee United. A cult hero with the Celtic fans, Rogan seemed to save his big moments for matches against Rangers. He came off the bench to set-up the winner at Ibrox late in the Centenary season, and scrambled home the opener in a 3-0 win in March 1991. On the flip-side he conceded two penalties against Rangers, both handballs, in the space of six weeks in the closing weeks of 1989/90. The nightmare continued as he missed from the spot in the Scottish Cup Final penalty shoot-out defeat by Aberdeen.

In the summer of 1990 Rogan was in dispute with Celtic over wages, and seemed likely to leave, with Portsmouth a likely destination. Eventually the dispute was settled and when he did leave in October 1991 it came as a shock to the Hoops fans. He signed for Sunderland, not long relegated from the First Division. An impressive first campaign was capped with an appearance at Wembley as the Rokerites were defeated 2-0 by Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. Rogan’s 1992/93 campaign was curtailed by yet another broken leg, and on his return he fell victim to a re-shuffle instigated by new Mackem boss, Terry Butcher.

Rogan’s next stop was Oxford United. The Us were in terminal decline at the time, the early season loss of manager Brian Horton and the beginnings of financial meltdown leaving the team struggling towards the foot of the First Division and were relegated. Although Rogan had happily settled in the Oxford area, when offered the opportunity to step back to Division One with Millwall in 1995 he jumped at the chance. Millwall were managed by ex-Celtic teammate Mick McCarthy, but with McCarthy departing to take the Republic of Ireland job and Rogan suffering serious injury problems, Millwall were relegated.

A return to fitness for the 1996/97 season allowed Rogan to offer some experience and stability to a Millwall side in a state of major flux. The Lions eventually managed mid-table respectability, as Rogan weighed in with eight goals, three from the penalty spot. Again Rogan was released by a club in financial crisis. He was snapped up by ex-international colleague, Nigel Worthington, then manager at Blackpool. Rogan spent two injury ravaged seasons at Bloomfield Road before leaving full-time football behind.

While Rogan’s international career is perhaps most remembered for the abuse he received from a section of the Northern Ireland support, purely for the fact he was a Catholic Celtic player, it should be recognised that he never gave less than his all in the green shirt. Indeed, his Man of the Match performance in keeping World Cup bound Uruguay at bay in 1990 is one of the most accomplished defensive displays by a Northern Ireland player of recent times. His international career seemed to have been ended after a breach of discipline saw him expelled from the squad by Billy Bingham in 1992. Bryan Hamilton however recognised the usefulness of Rogan’s experience and sent him on to steady the ship late in a famous 1-1 draw with Germany in Nuremburg in November 1996. It proved a fitting final bow for Rogan’s international career.

With his playing days behind him, Rogan has settled with his family in Oxford where he works for the City Council.

Northern Ireland Cap Details:

14-10-1987 Yugoslavia.. A L 0-3 ECQ sub
17-02-1988 Greece...... A L 2-3 FR
23-03-1988 Poland...... H D 1-1 FR sub
14-09-1988 Rep. Ireland H D 0-0 WCQ sub
19-10-1988 Hungary..... A L 0-1 WCQ
21-12-1988 Spain....... A L 0-4 WCQ
08-02-1989 Spain....... H L 0-2 WCQ
26-04-1989 Malta....... A W 2-0 WCQ sub
26-05-1989 Chile....... H L 0-1 FR
06-09-1989 Hungary..... H L 1-2 WCQ
27-03-1990 Norway...... H L 2-3 FR sub
18-05-1990 Uruguay..... H W 1-0 FR
12-09-1990 Yugoslavia.. H L 0-2 ECQ
17-10-1990 Denmark..... H D 1-1 ECQ
14-11-1990 Austria..... A D 0-0 ECQ
27-03-1991 Yugoslavia.. A L 1-4 ECQ
28-04-1992 Lithuania... H D 2-2 WCQ sub
09-11-1996 Germany..... A D 1-1 WCQ sub

Summary: 11(7)/0. Won 2, Drew 6, Lost 10.


Anonymous said…
Anton Rogan was a fine plyer. He was a stand out in the 88 centenary celtic side. Not the most talented player, but hugely determined. I was sad to see him leave in 91.
ajmcmullan. said…
a great guy who took so much abuse from so called n i re supporters. deserved much more than he received , a good all round good guy. hh
jcd said…
Agree AJ, the abuse he received simply due to the club he played for was completely unwarranted. Thankfully most have moved on and such events are a distant memory.