Irish football war heroes commemorated at World Cup Qualifier

Striker Harold Sloan captained the Irish team, his crowning moment a 4-4 draw with Wales in 1906 in which he scored a hat-trick
Andrew Madden

FORMER Irish football players who died on the Western Front were commemorated in a special programme at Northern Ireland’s Armistice Day match against Azerbaijan on Friday.

Writer and broadcaster Stephen Walker has chronicled the First World War service of many of Ireland's sporting greats and penned the piece featured in the match programme.

Among those remembered is former Irish team captain Harold Sloan.

Originally from Dublin, Sloan represented Bohemians FC at club level before joining the British Army in 1915. He served with the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was killed in action near the Somme in January 1917, aged 34.

"He captained the Irish team and his finest performance was against Wales in 1906 when he scored a hat-trick in a thrilling 4-4 draw," Walker wrote.

"He represented Ireland eight times and served Bohemians for twelve seasons, famously helping them to win the Irish Cup in their first-ever final against Shelbourne in 1908."

Other players featured include Dick Moore, who played for Ireland and Linfield. Moore was killed in an air attack in Greece in 1918.

Cliftonville’s Hiriam McKee and Manchester United’s Barney Donaghy were also commemorated; both were killed in action in France in 1916.

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