Glenavon FC

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Glenavon FC
Club logo
Basic data
Surname Glenavon Football Club
Seat Lurgan
founding 1889
Colours blue White
president Adrian tar
First soccer team
Head coach Gary Hamilton
Venue Mourneview Park
Places 5,000
league NIFL Premiership
2019/20 7th place

The Glenavon FC is a Northern Irish football club from Lurgan ( Armagh ). He plays in the NIFL Premiership , the top division in Northern Ireland. The club was founded in 1889 and has played its home games in Mourneview Park since 1895 . The club experienced its most successful period to date in the 1950s and early 1960s, when they won a total of 14 titles, including all three championship titles.



Glenavon FC was launched in November 1889 in the Eskdales Public House in Lurgan by a handful of local football enthusiasts . The name of the club was borrowed from the local predecessor team, Glenavon Rovers , which had been dissolved a few months earlier . In the first few years, the club held its encounters at different locations, before in 1895 Mourneview Park in Lurgan was finally rented as the club's permanent home. The stadium has been rebuilt several times since then.

Early years to 1949

After joining the Alliance League and later the Junior League , Glenavon FC was accepted into the Irish League in 1911 after the Dublin soccer club Bohemians had left , at the time the top division in the country. In 1913 the association was converted into a limited company with a share capital of £ 500 . Despite the First World War that followed shortly afterwards, society was able to keep afloat, at least financially.

In 1921 the Lurgan Blues finally won the City Cup, the first major title in the club's history, while in the same year they finished the league as runners-up and made it into the final of the Irish Cup for the first time . However, the final was lost 2-0 to Glentoran FC . In the following season Glenavon reached the cup final again, but had to give way to Linfield FC after another 2-0 defeat . Apart from that, the club remained in the interwar years without any further noteworthy successes.

In 1924, the Mourneview Park , which was initially rented, was fully acquired. Almost a year after the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1939, the club withdrew to the amateur camp due to the Second World War and the associated suspension of league operations, but with the resumption of the Irish League in 1947 it belonged again to the upper house of Northern Irish football . In a 1949 friendly game against FC Aberdeen in its Pittodrie Stadium , to which they were the first team of the Irish League to travel by plane, Glenavon did well and achieved a 0-0 draw against the Scottish team in the end.


The 1950s and early 1960s were the most successful phase in the club's history for Lurgan. In less than ten years, Glenavon FC made a name for itself beyond Northern Ireland with a total of 14 titles. At times, up to nine Glenavons regulars were national players at the same time and stood out from the crowd as the best players in the league. Personalities like Wilbur Cush , Jackie Denver or Jimmy Jones , who came to Lurgan from Belfast Celtic, actually matured into legends during this time, which subsequently shaped football in Northern Ireland significantly. In the 1951/52 season, Glenavon won the championship in the Irish League as the first club outside of Belfast.

The club became champions again in 1957, now under the leadership of Jimmy McAlinden, and on April 13, 1957, they were the first team outside Belfast to secure the double in the cup final by beating Derry City 2-0 , after having been in the Irish two years earlier Cup failed at Dundela FC. In the same year, Glenavon was the first club ever to represent the Irish League at European level when they competed against the Danish club Aarhus GF in the European Cup . Although the Lurgan Blues were able to keep up with a goalless draw in the first leg in Denmark, they finally lost 3-0 at Belfast Windsor Park . In 1959, the team held the Irish Cup again in their hands after final opponents Ballymena United were defeated 2-0 in the replay with goals from Sammy Wilson and Sammy Magee and not least thanks to a penalty saved by goalkeeper Roy Rea .


At the end of the 1959/60 season, Glenavon was the Northern Irish champion for the third time. Although the club had thus again qualified for the European Cup , Glenavon declared in the end that he would not participate after the players of SC Wismut Karl-Marx-Stadt had been refused entry to Great Britain and the The club did not want to host the home game in a third country. The missed appearance in a European competition was already forgotten in the following year by winning the Irish Cup again. Because after a memorable 5-1 win against Linfield in the cup final, Glenavon - incidentally again as the first club in the Irish League - was allowed to compete in the European Cup Winners' Cup , where they failed against English representatives Leicester City .

In the years that followed, the Lurgan team became quieter. Even in the league, Glenavon did not stand out with above-average performances, but mostly held up quite well in the middle of the table. In April 1965 they reached the final of the Irish Cup again, but went away empty -handed after a 1: 2 defeat against Coleraine FC . In 1968, Jimmy McAlinden, Glenavon FC's most successful coach to date with 15 titles, resigned after 14 years.


In the first half of the 1970s, Glenavon FC had to survive mostly lackluster seasons. This rather unsuccessful period found its low point in the 1975/76 season with the penultimate place, when with only four wins even relegation was at stake. But the team fought their way back within just one year and crowned their impressive performance behind Glentoran FC with the title of runner-up.

This qualified Glenavon for the first time for the UEFA Cup , in the first round of which they faced eventual winners PSV Eindhoven in September 1977 . Although the distribution of roles was clear from the outset, the superior strength of the Dutch top club could be countered with two hits. The team went down 6-2 at its European premiere at Mourneview Park at home , before they got under the wheels again 5-0 in the second leg in Eindhoven.

After a third place in the 1977/78 season, the club came back in 1979 as a runner-up behind Linfield for the UEFA Cup in position. Two years earlier they had unsuccessfully struggled against the due downgrading by PSV Eindhoven, but could now keep up with the Belgian representative Standard Liège for a long time, but ultimately had to admit defeat in both matches with only one goal.


After the two runner-up championships in the late 1970s, lean years awaited the appendix in Mourneview Park from 1980. For most of the 1980s, the club from Lurgan offered nothing but staid mediocrity and could only provide select highlights. So Glenavon made it to the cup final against Ballymena United in 1981 , where the team had to be content with the role of runner-up after 90 minutes and only one goal.

After a long period of abstinence, the Lurgan Blues only reached the decider for the Irish Cup against Glentoran in 1988 . However, the team failed to win the cup again thanks to a single goal. At the end of the decade, Lurgan only won the regional Mid-Ulster Cup twice on the credit side, although in 1988 in the same competition after a 2-1 defeat by the Dungannon Swifts they missed the third title by a hair's breadth.


It was not until 1990 that the Lurgan Blues were able to reconnect, at least in part, to the successes of the glorious 1950s. Up until the 1997/98 season, they reached the cup final four times, between 1996 and 1998 even three times in a row, while in the league they were able to play for the title three times to the end.


  • Irish Cup : 7
    • 1956/57, 1958/59, 1960/61, 1991/92, 1996/97, 2013/14, 2015/16
  • Irish League Cup: 1
    • 1989/90
  • Charity Shield: 2
    • 1992, 2016
  • City Cup: 5th
    • 1920/21, 1954/55, 1955/56, 1960/61, 1965/66
  • Gold Cup: 4
    • 1954/55, 1956/57, 1990/91, 1997/98
  • Ulster Cup: 3rd
    • 1954/55, 1958/59, 1962/63
  • Co. Antrim Shield: 2
    • 1990/91, 1995/96
  • Mid Ulster Cup: 6
    • 1983/84, 1988/89, 1990/91, 1996/97, 1998/99, 2004/05
  • Intermediate Cup: 1st
    • 2004/05

European Cup balance sheet

season competition round opponent total To Back
1957/58 European Champions Cup Preliminary round DenmarkDenmark Aarhus GF 0: 3 0: 0 (A) 0: 3 (H)
1960/61 European Champions Cup Preliminary round Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR Bismuth Karl-Marx-Stadt 1
1961/62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1 round EnglandEngland Leicester City 2: 7 1: 4 (H) 1: 3 (A)
1977/78 Uefa cup 1 round NetherlandsNetherlands PSV Eindhoven 02:11 2: 6 (H) 0: 5 (A)
1979/80 Uefa cup 1 round BelgiumBelgium Standard Liege 0: 2 0: 1 (H) 0: 1 (A)
1988/89 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1 round DenmarkDenmark Aarhus GF 2: 7 1: 4 (H) 1: 3 (A)
1990/91 Uefa cup 1 round FranceFrance Girondins Bordeaux 0: 2 0: 0 (H) 0: 2 (A)
1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1 round FinlandFinland Tampereen Ilves (a)4: 4 ( a ) 3: 2 (H) 1: 2 (A)
1992/93 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1 round BelgiumBelgium Royal Antwerp 0: 1 0: 0 (H) 0: 1 (A)
1995/96 Uefa cup Preliminary round IcelandIceland FH Hafnarfjörður 1-0 0: 0 (H) 1: 0 (A)
1 round GermanyGermany Werder Bremen 0: 7 0: 2 (H) 0: 5 (A)
1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup qualification PolandPoland Legia Warsaw 1: 5 1: 1 (H) 0: 4 (A)
2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1 round CroatiaCroatia Slaven Belupo 1: 4 1: 1 (H) 0: 3 (A)
2001/02 Uefa cup qualification ScotlandScotland FC Kilmarnock 0: 2 0: 1 (H) 0: 1 (A)
2014/15 UEFA Europa League 1st qualifying round IcelandIceland FH Hafnarfjörður 2: 6 0: 3 (A) 2: 3 (H)
2015/16 UEFA Europa League 1st qualifying round BelarusBelarus FK Shakhtsor Salihorsk 1: 5 1: 2 (H) 0: 3 (A)
2016/17 UEFA Europa League 1st qualifying round IcelandIceland KR Reykjavík 1: 8 1: 2 (A) 0: 6 (H)
2018/19 UEFA Europa League 1st qualifying round NorwayNorway Molde FK 3: 6 2: 1 (H) 1: 5 (A)
Legend: (H) - home game, (A) - away game, (N) - neutral place, (a) - away goal rule , (i. E.) - on penalties , (n. V.) - after extra time

Overall record : 34 games, 3 wins, 6 draws, 25 defeats, 20:79 goals (goal difference −59)

1 Karl-Marx-Stadt continued without a fight, as the British authorities did not give the GDR team a visa and Glenavon did not want to play his home game on neutral ground.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Sunday Herald, June 24, 2001