Joseph Gowdy (born 7 December 1897) was a footballer from Northern Ireland who played as a right half, although in his early career he was a centre forward and in latter years was deployed at centre half.[1][3]

Joe Gowdy
Personal information
Full name Joseph Gowdy
Date of birth 7 December 1897[1]
Place of birth Belfast, Ireland
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)[2]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1919–1920 Glentoran
1920–1928 Falkirk 113 (18)
1922–1924Queen's Island (loan)
1928–1931 East Fife 73 (10)
National team
1919–1923 Irish League XI 4 (0)
1919–1927 Ireland (IFA) 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He came to prominence after World War I as a goalscorer with Glentoran in his native Belfast,[1] and from there moved to Scotland with Falkirk in November 1920;[3] however, he failed to lead the attack as had been hoped, with the club bringing in Englishman Syd Puddefoot for a record fee in 1922.[2] Gowdy is said to have then returned to Ireland without informing Falkirk, intending to play for Glentoran again while the Scottish club tried to have him return to them without success. It was agreed that he would instead play on loan with Queen's Island in Belfast.[2] The move worked out well for player and club as Queen's Island won the double of Irish Football League and Irish Cup in the 1923–24 season.[1]

Gowdy then returned to Falkirk, initially playing alongside Puddefoot (who left during that season)[2] but then in more defensive positions (where he had also been used in Ireland)[1] to good effect, making close to 100 appearances across the next four seasons.[3] In 1928 he moved on to East Fife where he played for three years before retiring from top class football, helping the club to secure promotion from the Scottish Second Division in 1929–30, although in the next campaign they struggled in the top tier.[1]

Gowdy gained six caps for Ireland, the first in 1919 when he was with Glentoran, the second while with Queen's Island in 1924 and four with Falkirk, the last coming in 1927.[4] He also played four times for the Irish League representative team.[1]

His younger brother Bill[5] was also a footballer; he too gained six caps for Ireland, but they did not play together for their country (nor any club) – Bill did not get his first cap until 1931.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Joe Gowdy, Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats, 11 December 2006
  2. ^ a b c d Joseph Gowdy, Falkirk Football Historian, 19 November 2013
  3. ^ a b c John Litster (October 2012). "A Record of pre-war Scottish League Players". Scottish Football Historian magazine. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Joe Gowdy, National Football Teams
  5. ^ Residents of a house 47 in Portallo Street (Ormeau, Down) (1911 census), National Archives of Ireland
  6. ^ Bill Gowdy, Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats, 11 December 2006