Friday, February 05, 2021

Ulster-Scots football 1917 - Linfield and Distillery

In my last year of Art College I moved up to Belfast and lived in a student house with two other guys at 86 Rockview Street just off Belfast's Donegall Road. At that end of the street was the late Philip Thompson's chippy (he was from Comber and I knew his children through gospel hall connections) so that kept me sustained. Pretty close to the other end was Windsor Park, so I started going to watch Linfield's weeknight matches; I ended up doing a design project for my final degree 'show' about the club, with assistance from the late club secretary Derek Brooks. Some other unknown student vandalised it, but that's another story...

I found this newspaper article tonight when looking for other things. I had forgotten that, despite the Great War, football continued. Look at how many Scots were signed by both Linfield and Distillery that summer!  I wonder if records exist for other Ulster clubs in that era, to get some idea of the scale of Scottish influence and interconnection? Malcolm Brodie's book Linfield 100 Years, published in 1986, will have to be re-read.