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PETER DESMOND: Played for Ireland and Beating England whilst in Middlesbrough Reserves in 1949

1949 was a glorious year for Irish soccer and the press kept reminding us of the fact that for almost forty years (until Stuttgart ‘88) that we had not relived what was reportedly Ireland's greatest performance - beating England in a friendly at Goodison Park. England were beaten for the first time on home soil by a team from outside the home countries.

Playing inside forward on that memorable occasion was Peter Desmond and the lad from Evergreen Street was then only on the   reserve side. Peter began his career with Nicholas Rovers and subsequently had his allegiance claimed by several clubs, including Dunbar Celtic, Beaumont Utd, St Kevin’s, Construction Corp, Western Rovers and Fermoy.

He was magnificent on the Richmond team of 1946 that defeated Grangegorman 2-1 in the Intermediate Cup final replay at Dalymount Park. He began his League of Ireland career with Waterford and a year later he was on the Shelbourne side beaten 3-0 by Dundalk in the FAI Cup final. Peter, who played regularly for the Irish Army signed for Middlesbrough along with Arthur Fitzimons, but it wasn’t until after his brilliant performance for Ireland at Goodison, that he made his debut for Boro. Peter didn’t stay long up at Ayrsome Park and moved around a bit before retiring from league football in 1953 after spells with Southport, York and Hartlepool Utd. He died in England in 1990.


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