Captains Exchange Pennants Eddie McGinley and Danny McGrain at Harps v Celtic in 1983

As you may all be aware, myself and my good friend Joe Doherty are working on a new book that features every player to have played a competitive game for Finn Harps.   This is a look at some of the players that will be featured in the book.

The picture was taken on the occasion of a friendly fixture between Harps and Glasgow Celtic that was played on 18 May 1983.   It shows the captains Eddie McGinley (Harps) and Danny McGrain (Celtic) exchanging pennants with the referee Wilfred Wallace in the background.

As you can see in the background there was a full house to witness what was Charlie Nicholas’s last game in the famous green and white hoops.  Harps sold tickets for touchline seats as well and an estimated 8,000 people packed into Finn Park.  The result of the game was a four-nil victory for the Glasgow giants.

Eddie McGinley had been away in England playing in the Youth European Championships for the Republic of Ireland and had only returned to Ireland that morning.  He recalls well “My old boy and Denis Martin collected me from Dublin airport and drove me to Ballybofey.  I got a few hours sleep in Patsy McGowan’s house and then led the team out against Celtic.   It was some homecoming for me!”

Eddie, who was born in Glasgow, is a fanatical Celtic supporter and this was one of the highlights of his senior career.  Another one was lifting the Intermediate Cup in 1988 as captain of Fanad United.  Eddie began his career with Harps in the 1981/82 season whilst still at school and went on to make 179 appearances for Finn Harps scoring seven times.

One of those goals was a thirty-five yard effort against Shamrock Rovers on 29 January 1984, which featured on RTE television.  In recent years, I managed to get video footage of the game, and was delighted to send a copy onto Eddie.

Eddie’s first spell at Finn Park ended in 1985 and he went to Fanad United before returning to sign for Chris Rutherford in August 1988.   He decided to return to Fanad United in 1992 before going on to, both play and manage, Cranford United in the Donegal League.  In the 1990/91 season, along with his good friend, Con McLaughlin, he took charge of the team for a fixture against Kilkenny City.

For more info on We Are The Harps see HERE