North of Ireland F.C.

North of Ireland Football Club is a former Irish rugby union club that was based in Belfast, Ireland. It was the first rugby club formed in what is now Northern Ireland and only two other clubs - Dublin University and Wanderers - were formed earlier anywhere else in all Ireland.[1][2] It was founded in 1868 by members of North of Ireland Cricket Club.[3] NIFC also played in the first recorded rugby game in Ulster when they played a 20-a-side match against Queen's University RFC.

North of Ireland FC
NIFCCLOGO.jpg
Full nameNorth of Ireland Football Club
UnionIRFU
Ulster
Founded1868
Ground(s)Ormeau Road
Belfast
League(s)Ulster Senior League
AIB League

Throughout its history, NIFC was one of the most successful clubs in Ulster rugby, winning eighteen Ulster Senior League titles and eighteen Ulster Senior Cup titles. They also played several seasons in the AIB League before merging with Collegians in 1999 to form Belfast Harlequins.[4]

The club left its historic home on the Ormeau Road (one of the earliest international rugby venues in Ireland[5]) after a series of sectarian arson attacks, including the burning of its pavilion. The club, with a mainly Protestant membership, was perceived as being "isolated in a zone of working-class nationalism".[6][7]

Notable playersEdit

See also Category:North of Ireland F.C. players

IrelandEdit

The following NIFC players represented Ireland at full international level.

British and Irish LionsEdit

The following NIFC players also represented the British and Irish Lions.[2]

Ireland cricket teamEdit

The following NIFC players also represented Ireland at cricket.

HonoursEdit

  • All-Ireland Cup: 1
    • 1934-35
  • Ulster Senior Cup: 18
    • 1884–85, 1892–93, 1893–94, 1894–95, 1895–96, 1896–97, 1897–98, 1898–99, 1900–01, 1901–02, 1907–08, 1919–20, 1929–30, 1934–35, 1938–39, 1954–55, 1968–69, 1972–73
  • Ulster Senior League: 18 (1 shared)
    • 1891–92, 1892–93, 1893–94, 1894–95, 1895–96, 1896–97, 1897–98, 1898–99, 1900–01, 1901–02, 1908–09, 1920–21, 1926-27 (shared), 1945–46, 1954–55, 1958–59, 1965–66, 1991–92
  • Ulster Junior Cup: 9
    • †1894-95, †1906-07, †1907-08, †1908-09, †1935-36, †1953-54, †1956-57, †1962-63, †1984-85

† Won by 2nd XV

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ www.irishrugby.ie Archived 2013-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b The Ireland Rugby Miscellany (2007): Ciaran Cronin
  3. ^ Hassan, David (2003). "Rugby Union, Irish Nationalism and National Identity in Northern Ireland" (PDF). Football Studies. University of Ulster, Jordanstown. 6 (1).
  4. ^ "www.irishrugby.ie".[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ See references to Ireland's matches against Scotland from 1877 to 1889: Ireland v Scotland - Head to Head Statistics Archived 2012-09-04 at archive.today
  6. ^ D. Sharrock, ‘Goodbye to all that, as the Belfast sporting club where W.G. Grace swung his bat uproots for Protestant sanctuary’, The Guardian, 13 August 1997, p. 6.
  7. ^ Cronin, Mike (200o). ""Catholics and Sport in Northern Ireland: Exclusiveness or Inclusiveness?"" (PDF). International Sports Studies. Logos Verlag Berlin GmbH. 2 (1).
  8. ^ O'Sullivan, John (3 May 2010). "Planet rugby". Irish Times.
  9. ^ Cole, Brendan. "RTÉ Sport: 1991: Gordon Hamilton Scores". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 19 September 2007.
  10. ^ "ulsterbiography.co.uk". www.ulsterbiography.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-10-06.