James "Jimmy" McIlroy MBE
(born 25 October 1931, Lambeg
, near Lisburn
, Northern Ireland
) is a former football
player, regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of Burnley Football Club
Starting his footballing career at Belfast
, McIlroy was signed by Burnley manager Frank Hill
, who handed the youngster his league debut in the 1-1 draw against Sunderland
at Roker Park
in October 1950, just four days before his 19th birthday.
McIlroy's inclusion in the team was due to the sale of Harry Potts
, his future manager of Burnley, who had just been sold to Everton
McIlroy played in the second of the two greatest periods in Burnley's history, coinciding with Harry Potts's tenure as manager, when they became 1959-60 English League
champions, appeared in the 1962 FA Cup Final
and featured in European Competitions.
He played 439 times for the Clarets and scored 116 goals for the club. He is also Burnley's most capped international, appearing for his native Northern Ireland
on 51 occasions, scoring 10 goals.
Many Burnley fans viewed his 1963 transfer to Stoke City
as an act of treachery by club chairman Bob Lord. McIlroy learned that Lord had sold the player by reading of it in a newspaper; Lord had not even told McIlroy himself. After McIlroy's time at Stoke, he had a period managing Oldham
, followed by a few weeks in charge of Bolton
, a period that brought an end to a great footballing career.He retired to the Burnley... Read More