Glentoran Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former player John McDaid.
John was a centre forward from Omagh who came through the ranks at Glentoran to make his Glentoran debut as a 16-year-old in a Gold Cup win over Larne at the Oval in October 1981. His teammates that night included bona fide legends such as skipper Rab McCreery and others such as Cleary, Blackledge, Bowers, Jameson and Paterson among others, It was no mean feat for anyone to break into Ronnie McFall’s great squad but for a 16-year-old striker in the era of Blackledge, Manley and Mullan it was even more remarkable.
John made a total 31 appearances for the Glens, scoring 11 goals, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He was due to join Newcastle United in October 1982 but the week beforehand he sustained a terrible injury from a controversial challenge late in our 2-0 Gold Cup Final win over Linfield at the Oval. He had scored 8 goals in 11 appearances so far that season but that injury kept him out until near the end of the following season, over 18 months. John left the Glens at the end of the 1984-85 season, He subsequently had spells at Derry City, Finn Harps, Portadown and his hometown side Omagh Town.
John was a very proud man when his son Robbie signed for the Glens in August 2018. He and his wife Wendy were regulars home and away through Robbie’s 5 seasons at the club and there were no prouder people in the Captain’s Lounge after Robbie’s winner in our Irish Cup Final victory in 2020. Anyone who spoke to John during that spell will have seen how brightly John’s love for Glentoran still burned after so many years,
John’s Glentoran team mate and captain Jim Cleary spoke this morning of John: “John was a great lad and a smashing player. He was strong, skilful, could use both feet and did so well to get into our team when we were reigning champions. I have no doubt that had it not been for his injury he could have gone onto have a great career at a high level in England. He was that good. On behalf of his old Glentoran teammates I pass on to our sadness to Wendy and the family.”
On behalf of everyone at Glentoran FC I extend deepest condolences to Wendy, sons Robbie and Andrew and the rest of the McDaid Family.
There will be a minute's silence in tribute to John before tomorrow's home game with Carrick Rangers.
Funeral details will follow.
Le Jeu Avant Tout
Written by Ian Clarke