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Thomas McKeague

Name: Thomas Alexander McKeague
Born: 4 May 1904, Co. Cavan
Died: 3 March 1989, Belfast
Position: Outside-Right

Representative Honours: Ireland: 1 Full Cap (1924).
Club Honours: (with Glentoran) Irish League Champion 1924/25; Irish Cup Runner-Up 1924/25; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1924/25, Runner-Up 1925/26; Charity Cup Winner 1922/23, 1924/25, Shared 1925/26, Runner-Up 1926/27.

Club Career:
Sydenham YM
* all games.

Thomas Alexander McKeague was born on 4th May 1904 in Co Cavan, his family moved to Belfast when he was a boy. His football career began with Sydenham YM before he joined Glentoran for the 1922-23 season. He made 5 appearances that first year and the following season netted the first of his 66 goals when he scored against Larne in a 5-1 Irish League win. The 1924-25 season saw Glentoran crowned as Irish League champions. They also lifted the Co Antrim Shield and the Charity Cup but lost 2-1 to Distillery at Solitude in the Irish Cup final. Tommy McKeague scored 4 in one game during a 6-2 defeat of Larne in the City Cup of 1926-27.

McKeague was capped by Ireland just once, against South Africa in September 1924. For a long time this was considered as a match between an Ireland Amateur team and the South African team of amateur players and thus ranked as an Amateur International. However it was originally advertised as Ireland v South Africa, the Irish team played in the full International colours of blue (not green like the amateurs), the players were allowed to keep their jerseys and most of the players were in actual fact professionals. According to the I.F.A. International Committee Minutes the team, due to travelling costs, was selected solely from players based in the Irish League.

A paper cutter/paper ruler by trade, aside from his very early years, McKeague lived the vast majority of his life within a small area of east Belfast. As a boy, he lived at Kyle Street. In December 1928, while living on Victoria Avenue, he married his neighbour, Wilhelmina Milliken, at St Mark's, Dundela. The couple lived for many years at Sydenham Park, where he passed away in 1989.

Ireland Cap Details:
24-09-1924 South Africa H L 1-2 FR

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

Adapted by kind permission from a profile originally published by Forza Glens. Additional personal information courtesy of Dr Hilary Kennedy.


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