Friday, August 21, 2020

Belfast Celtic v Linfield in 1905: "the air in Belfast reeks with the Scotch dialect"

There was a big Belfast crunch match in 1905; Belfast Celtic played Linfield at Balmoral on 28 January. Celtic outplayed Linfield, but the Blues won 2–1. A newspaper called Sport, published in Dublin, said this in their match report –

"Celtic tried a new back named Daig. Of course, he is Scotch – the air in Belfast reeks with the Scotch dialect, at least of football players – he has assisted Kilmarnock and Ayr Parkhouse. He was not on Saturday's form a great success"

About a week later Belfast Celtic signed another Scot, the Greenock Morton forward J. Stevenson - 'a dashing forward, strong active and vigilant' after he had impressed when the two teams played each other in a recent match. 

It's well known that Scotland played a huge role in the development of football in Ulster. I wonder just how many Scottish players were in Belfast in that era? It must have been a large amount for a Dublin paper to make that statement.

• NB Ayr Parkhouse existed up until 1910 when they merged with Ayr, to form Ayr United.