Who Is The Irish FA’s Greatest Ever Goalkeeper ?


Northern Ireland has long been famed for the quality of goalkeepers that they have had at their disposal. From Breen and Scott in the 1930s through Gregg & Uprichard in the ’50s and Jennings, McFaul & Platt in the ’70s to Wright, Taylor and Carroll there have been many greats between the sticks at Windsor Park…

Please take the time to click each player’s respective name and read in detail their career history before placing your vote.

Poll Closes 8th January 2016 at 20:00

For a full list of goalkeepers who have represented (Northern) Ireland and their statistics please see the excellent Northern Ireland Footballing Greats website: http://nifootball.blogspot.com/2007/06/goalkeeper-performances.html

Name: Elisha Scott
Born: 24 August 1893, Belfast
Height: 5.09½ ft
Position: Goalkeeper
Died:16 May 1959, Belfast


Representative Honours: Ireland: 31 Full Caps (1920-1936); 2 Victory International Caps (1919); Irish League: 2 Caps (1935).
Club Honours: (with Liverpool) Football League Champion 1921/22, 1922/23; (with Linfield) Charity Cup Runner-Up 1915/16; (with Belfast Celtic) Irish League Champion 1918/19, 1935/36; Irish Cup Winner 1917/18, Runner-Up 1916/17; City Cup Winner 1918/19 (shared); Co. Antrim Shield Runner-Up 1918/19; Charity Cup Runner-Up 1915/16.

Lithe and cat-like, possessor of superb judgement and a master of the goal area, Elisha Scott was the longest-serving player in Liverpool’s history and regarded as the finest ‘keeper of his age, and a contender for the title of “All-Time Best”…

Elisha Scott


Name: Harry Gregg
Born: 25 October 1932, Tobermore
Height: 6.00 ft
Weight: 12.08 st
Position: Goalkeeper


Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 25 Full Caps (1954-1963), 1 Amateur Cap, Youth Caps, 4 Schoolboy Caps (1947); Irish League: 1 Cap (1952).
Club Honours: (with Man. United) FA Cup Runner-Up 1957/58.
Awards: Goalkeeper of the Tournament (World Cup – Sweden 1958).

The term ‘hero’ is handed to footballers all to readily nowadays, but the title has never sat comfortably with Harry Gregg, a man whose most heroic deeds were carried out far from the playing field…

Harry Gregg


Name: Pat Jennings
Born: 12 June 1945, Newry
Height: 6.00 ft
Weight: 12.06st
Position: Goalkeeper


Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 119 Full Caps (1964-1986), 1 Under-23 Cap (1964), Youth Caps; FIFA XI (1986).
Club Honours: (with Newry United*) Irish Junior Cup Winner 1961/62; (with Tottenham) FA Cup Winner 1966/67; League Cup Winner 1970/71, 1972/73, UEFA Cup Winner 1971/72, Runner-Up 1973/74; FA Charity Shield Winner (Shared) 1967; Anglo-Italian League Cup Winners 1971/72. (with Arsenal) FA Cup Winner 1978/79, Runner-Up 1977/78, 1979/80, European Cup Winners’ Cup Runner-Up 1979/80. * Newry United were Newry Town’s reserve side.
Awards: PFA Player of the Year 1976; Football Writers’ Player of the Year 1973; NI Football Personality of the Year 1984; NI International Player of the Year 1985, 1986; Texaco Award Winner 1973, 1978, 1983, 1985; PFA Division One Team of the Year: 1974, 1976; UEFA Centurion Award 2011.

The legendary Pat Jennings, hands like JCB buckets, cool as a cucumber under pressure, and by the end of his career, seemingly, as old as Methuselah…

Pat Jennings


Name: Tommy Wright
Born: 28 September 1963, Ballyclare
Height: 6.01 ft
Weight: 13.05 st
Position: Goalkeeper


Other Representative Honours: Irish League ‘B’ Division Representative; Football League: 1 Cap (1992).
Club Honours: (with Linfield Swifts) Irish League ‘B’ Division Champion; George Wilson Cup Winner; (with Newcastle) Football League Division One Champion 1992/93; (with Forest) Football League Division One Runner-Up 1993/94.

The ‘Ballyclare Barman’ went a long way. From under-appreciated reserve at Linfield to international acclaim, it was a bumpy road…

Tommy Wright


Name: Maik Taylor
Born: 4 September 1971, Hildeshein (Germany)
Height: 6.04 ft
Weight: 13.09 st
Position: Goalkeeper


Representative Honours: 88 Full Caps (1999-2011), 1 B Cap (1999), 1 Under-21 Caps (1998).
Club Honours: (with Farnborough) Southern League Premier Division Champion 1993/94; (with Fulham) Football League Division One Champion 2000/01, Football League Division Two Champion 1998/99; (with Birmingham) Football League Championship Runner-Up (promoted) 2006/07, 2008/09; Football League Cup Winner 2010/11 (unused sub).
Awards: PFA Division One Team of the Season 2000/01; FA Premiership Team of the Season 2003/04; NI International Personality of the Year 2004.

Northern Ireland’s stalwart ‘keeper through the dark days, nobody has deserved the success of recent times more than Maik Taylor…

Maik Taylor


Name: Jim Platt
Born: 26 January 1952, Ballymoney
Height: 5.10 ft
Weight: 12.10 st
Position: Goalkeeper


Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 23 Full Caps (1976-1986), 2 Amateur Caps (1970), Youth.
Club Honours: (with Middlesbrough) Anglo-Scottish Cup Winner 1975/76; (with Ballymena) Irish Cup Winner 1983/84, (with Coleraine) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1985/86; League Cup Winner 1987/88; Ulster Cup Winner 1985/86, 1986/87; North West Senior Cup Winner.
Awards: North-East Player of the Year 1981; Middlesbrough Player of the Year 1972, 1981.

Long-term understudy to Pat Jennings, when given the chance in the Northern Ireland Number One jersey, Jim Platt was involved in some famous victories…

Jim Platt


Name: Norman Uprichard
Born: 20 April 1928, Moyraverty (near Lurgan)
Died: 31 January 2011, Brighton (England)
Height: 5.09 ft
weight: 12.01 st
Position: Goalkeeper


Representative Honours: (Northern) Ireland: 18 Full Caps (1951-1959), 1 Junior Cap (1948).

Diminutive but fearless, Norman “Black Jake” Uprichard was unfortunate his career overlapped with that of Harry Gregg…

Norman Uprichard


Name: Roy Carroll
Born: 30 September 1977, Enniskillen
Height: 6.02 ft
Weight: 13.05 st
Position: Goalkeeper


Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 40 Full Caps (1997-date), 11 U21 Caps (1998-1999).
Club Honours: (with Wigan) Football League Trophy Winner 1998/99; (with Man. United) FA Premier League Champion 2002/03; FA Cup Winner 2003/04, Runner-Up 2004/05; (with Olympiacos) Greek Super League Champion 2012/13; Greek Cup Winner 2011/12, 2012/13.
Awards: PFA Division Two Team of the Year 2000; The Golden Cage (Danish Goalkeeper of the Year) 2009; Northern Ireland International Personality of the Year 2013.

Roy Carroll was our first Premier League winner, and he still couldn’t command a regular place in the Northern Ireland team as Maik Taylor held the jersey. Lawrie Sanchez tried a rotation policy but when Carroll injured himself during the early stages of the infamous 3-2 home win over Spain it was Taylor who kept hold of the jersey, as Carroll went on a sabbatical for well publicised reasons unbeknown then. After a near-six year absence from the international scene, Carroll was recalled by new Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill for a match against the Netherlands in 2012. Carroll part of the Euro 2016 qualification squad was originally O’Neill’s number one, but more recently Michael McGovern has taken that role.

Roy Carroll


Name: Billy Scott
Born: 17 May 1882, Belfast
Died: 16 August 1936, Liverpool (England)
Height: 5.11½ ft
Weight: 12.11 st


Representative Honours: Ireland: 25 Full Caps (1903-1913); Irish League: 3 Caps (1903-1904).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1901/02, 1903/04; Irish Cup Winner 1901/02, 1903/04; City Cup Winner 1901/02, 1092/03/1903/04; Charity Cup Winner 1902/03, Runner-Up 1901/02; County Antrim Shield Winner 1903/04, Runner-Up 1902/03; (with Everton) FA Cup Winner 1905/06, Runner-Up 1906/07.

Elder brother of the legendary Elisha, “Peerless” Billy Scott also stands out as one of the outstanding ‘keepers in the history of Irish football.

Billy Scott


Name: Tom Scott
9 August 1873
12 May 1908, Belfast


Representative Honours: Ireland: 13 Full Caps (1894-1900); Irish League: 4 Caps (1895-1897).
Club Honours: (with Cliftonville) Irish Cup Winner 1896/97; Co. Antrim Shield Winner; Belfast Charities Cup Winner.

A multi-honoured goalkeeper, Tom Scott won his first Ireland cap as a 21 year-old but eventually retired from football at the premature age of 29.

Tom Scott




3 responses to “Who Is The Irish FA’s Greatest Ever Goalkeeper ?

  1. Easy choice as Pat Jennings was World Class as a goalkeeper, fantastic!

  2. Linfield had a goalkeeper called Tommy Brien this is the spelling I think I watched two teams with goalkeeper s Frank swift Docterty Peter that is scored with a penlity Tommy Brien was in goal for us and he was BRILLiANT any one remember the game around about 1942

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