Glentoran FC: All You Need To Know About The Northern Irish Football Club

Glentoran FC

In 1882, between a shipyard (Harland and Wolff), a cigarette factory (Gallaghers) and a whiskey distillery, a historic Glentoran Football Club was born in Belfast (Northern Ireland). A laureate northern Irish centenary club that currently plays in the NIFL Premiership has proven to be great survivors. The club has survived World War II, a deep economic crisis that almost made it completely disappear from the football map, and a serious historical error. Glentoran rejected the legendary George Best for being too small and light. Yes, they did that. Let’s find out more about this fabled Northern Irish Football Club.

Glentoran FC: The Fabled Belfast Football Club

Which are some rivals of Glentoran FC?

Their main rival is Linfield FC, considered the “Belfast’s Big Two”, as they have traditionally dominated local football in Northern Ireland since the disappearance of Belfast Celtic. The two play a classic league game on Boxing Day each year, which typically attracts the biggest attendance of the Northern Irish league season. Glentoran have other minor rivalries with two other North Belfast clubs, Crusaders Football Club and Cliftonville Football & Athletic Club, as well as Portadown FC.

Have Glentoran players gone on to play in bigger leagues?

A lot of Glentoran players were also chosen by teams in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues. Players such as Danny Blanchflower, Peter Doherty, Bertie Peacock, Glen Little, Stuart Elliott, Andy Kirk and Andy Smith.

Where is the home ground of Glentoran FC?

Its stadium has become one of the meccas for Groundhopping fans due to its extreme beauty, and The Oval is a historic place that every football fan should visit. Nicknamed “Glens” or the “Cock ‘n’ Hens”, it is located in Sydenham, East Belfast, surrounded by Sydenham End to the east, George Best Belfast City Airport behind, as well as Sydenham Train Station. and two other local teams Dundela FC and Harland and Wolf Welders. To access it, you must do it by Mersey Street, through Parkgate Drive. With no elevators and no clear emergency exit, its main grandstand is made up of a strange mix of brick, wood, metal, and plastic from the 1950s. 

In March 2003, the club’s board of directors advised the shareholders of the Glentoran Recreation Company Ltd to sell the stadium to a real estate holding company called Girona due to help with the difficult financial situation of the club. A campaign carried out by a group of volunteers called Rest In Eas was able to keep the club in East Belfast.

Who is the greatest Glentoran FC player of all time?

The great reference of the Glentoran even today is Roy Coyle, winner of a total of 16 trophies obtained during his two stages as a player and coach. Coyle curiously retired in 1980 after 5 years in the ranks of the eternal rival. Although the best player in history who has worn the colors green, red and black of the Glentoran was George Best in a friendly match against Manchester United, to celebrate 100 years of the “Glens”, and that served to seal the final pardon of the Northern Irish star, after being rejected by the club as a child. Best faced that historic August 14, 1982 match against his wardrobe mates, beating them 2-0.

What is Glentoran FC’s biggest achievement at the European level?

Glentoran won the Vienna Cup in 1994, becoming the first Irish team to win a European trophy, although as this competition took place several decades before UEFA was formed, it is not recognized as such.

During the 1960s Glentoran also played in the European Champions Cup, the Recopa de Europa, and its best European moment came in a European Cup match against SL Benfica de Eusébio in 1967. It was played over two legs. Glentoran scored a penalty early in the game and held out for almost sixty minutes until the great Eusébio equalized. The match ended 1-1. The return leg was at Estádio da Luz, and Glentoran was expected to collapse under pressure, but again held Benfica to a 0-0 draw. Benfica advanced to the next round solely on the value of the away field goals. Curiously, Glentoran was the first team to lose under this rule and the first team that Benfica did not score against, when playing at home.

What is the relationship between Glentoran FC and the Detroit Cougars?

In 1967, Glentoran FC led the Detroit Cougars football franchise in the United Soccer Association, in true Manchester City style with New York City. The newly formed league had planned an inaugural season in 1968, but when the rival National Professional Soccer League announced a 1967 start date and a television contract with CBS, the league’s owners decided to accelerate its development by importing entire teams from Europe. and South America. These leagues eventually merged to form the North American Soccer League.

Glentoran FC: Resurgence

It was not until the 2002-03 season when the club could once again offer great joys to its fans. During that season it won the Irish League Championship, the Irish League Cup and the County Antrim & District Football Association Senior Shield.

How was the Glentoran Community Trust formed?

On November 3, 2005, faced with the threat of a second relocation attempt, a fan forum voted 417-0 in favor of the creation of the Glentoran Community Trust, the first fan trust to be formed in Northern Ireland. It was officially incorporated on May 15, 2006 and registered with the Belfast Registrar of Companies under the Industrial and Provident Companies Acts 1965-1978. On January 29, 2008, the GCT took another historic step to give fans a voice, when one of its members, Stephen Henderson, was elected to the board of directors by the shareholders of Glentoran FC.

Has Glentoran FC been hit with financial struggles?

The club’s financial problems would soon come to light again, specifically in November 2012, when it was reported that the squad had refused to train because they had not received their salary for two months. If the problem had not been solved, it could have reached the point where players would have the right to be released from their contracts. That season the club had mixed results in the next six league games. Three wins, one draw and two losses, including a disappointing 2-1 loss on the road to Donegal Celtic, put “Glens” in fifth place in the league at the end of November, twelve points behind leader Cliftonville. Finally, the club was able to face the payments and ward off the ghost of his disappearance.

How did Glentoran FC regain financial stability?

Its recent financial stability began in 2016 when Mick McDermott became a manager as part of a deal involving a group of investors financing Glentoran. On May 24, 2016, McDermott and a board of directors proposed to the club’s fans for the demolition and redevelopment of the current stadium grounds, in order to build a new and modern community-based stadium in Windsor Park, and the fans gladly accepted. On February 4, 2020, the president, Stephen Henderson, announced that the club was free of foreign debt, although to this day the project of the new stadium remains a reality, luckily for the fans of the beautiful The Oval.

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