9 November 2008

George "Barney" Moorhead

Name: George Moorhead
Born: 27 May 1895, Christchurch (New Zealand)
Died: 1976, Lurgan
Position: Centre-Half

Representative Honours: Ireland: 4 Full Caps (1923-1929); Irish League: 9 Caps (1924-1928).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish League Champion; Irish Cup Winner 1922/23; Runner-Up 1925/26; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1922/23, 1928/29; City Cup Winner; Gold Cup Winner.

Club Career:
Teams.............. --Seasons-- Signed League FACup
Glenavon
Royal Ulster Rifles
Southampton........ 20/21 ..... Aug-20.. 9/ 0 .4/ 0
Brighton & Hove Alb 22/23 ..... Aug-22.. 1/ 0
Linfield .......................Dec-22
Glenavon
Linfield ...................... c/s-25
Heart of Midlothian ........... Nov-26.. 0/ 0

Biography:
One of the biggest names in the Irish League during the 1920s, George "Barney" Moorhead won four Ireland caps despite being born in New Zealand. Raised in Lurgan from the age of two, he worked as a ticket collector at Lurgan railway station until the age of 70.

Moorhead served with The Royal Irish Rifles during the Great War, during which time he played with the regimental team. With hostilities over he joined Southampton but found himself suspended for a year due to an "irregularity covering amateurs". When the suspension expired he joined Brighton but returned to Ireland within a few months.

Signed by Linfield in 1922, Moorhead was to become one of their all-time greats. Sadly the Blues were suffering a hangover from their 1921/21 clean-sweep campaign and struggled to reach those heights through Moorhead's nine year association with the club. He won a solitary Irish Cup winner's medal, Glentoran defeated 2-0 in the 1923 Final. For the 1930 Final he reportedly asked to be left out of the side in favour of Jack Jones.

An extremely consistent performer, Moorhead seldom missed a match despite walking from his Lurgan home to Windsor Park on match days in what he referred to as "a morning dander". Capped four times, three against Scotland, it was felt he was deserving of more international recognition. In addition Moorhead played nine times at inter-league level, only once avoiding defeat.

Ireland Cap Details:
03-03-1923 Scotland H L 0-1 BC
21-02-1928 France.. A L 0-4 FR
25-02-1928 Scotland A W 1-0 BC
23-02-1929 Scotland H L 3-7 BC

Summary: 4/0. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 3.

With thanks to Martin O'Connor.

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