5 August 2006

Joe Burnison

The Burnisons were ‘the’ footballing family in Irish football in the early part of the Twentieth Century, and the first of the clan to make his mark was Joe…

Name: Joseph Burnison
Born: 12 December 1880, Lurgan
Died: 31 December 1958, Belfast
Position: Wing-Half

Representative Honours: Ireland: 2 Full Caps (1901); Irish League: 3 Caps (1900-1901).
Club Honours: (with Distillery) Irish League Champion 1898/99, 1900/01, 1902/03, Runner-Up 1903/04; Irish Cup Winner 1902/03; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1899/00, 1902/03; Belfast Charities Cup Winner 1899/1900, Runner-Up 1898/99.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Glenavon
-
-
-
-
-
-
Distillery
98/99-00/01
-
-
-
-
-
Bolton Wdrs
00/01-01/02
Mar-01
-
18/ 0
-
-
Distillery
02/03-03/04
May-02
-
*126/16
-
-
Derry Celtic
04/05
-
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£-
144/16
-
-
* all competitive games, both spells.

Biography:
Joe Burnison commenced his football career with local Alliance League club, Glenavon before joining Distillery where he made his debut in 1898/99. Initially a forward, he later moved to the half-back role which would earn him international recognition. In his first season with the club he featured in the play-off victory over Linfield that won Distillery the League title.

Signed by Bolton in March 1901, Burnison stepped straight into the first team at the expense of experienced left-half, Archie Freebairn. However, the signing of John Boyd early the following season signalled the end of Burnison’s time at Burnden Park, and he returned to Distillery in May 1902 after a total of 18 First Division appearances.

In his first season back at Grosvenor he captained Distillery to an Irish Cup success, an honour which was also later to befall his brother, Sam. In total he scored 16 goals for the Whites, most notably the winner in a 1-0 defeat of Belfast Celtic in the Charity Cup semi-final of 1899/1900. After helping Distillery to a total of seven trophies, Burnison moved on to Derry Celtic in 1904.

The highlight of Burnison's single season with Derry Celtic was in the Irish Cup when he was part of the team that defeated Linfield 3-1 in the quarter-final, only to succumb to Distillery 1-0 in the semi-final.

Burnison died in December 1958 after being run over by a car in Belfast City Centre.

Ireland Cap Details:
09-03-1901 England. A L 0-3 BC
23-03-1901 Wales... H L 0-1 BC

Summary: 2/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 2.

Additions by George Glass.

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