During this period of enforced football inactivity, Linfieldfc.com will provide occasional programme articles on our former players.
The series commenced five weeks ago with an article on Jim Lemon and has continued over the past four weeks with features on Tommy MacDonald, Stephen McKee, Eric Bowyer and Tony Gorman.
In this week’s article Linfieldfc.com reproduces a programme article from earlier this season in which the spotlight was focused on former player Lindsay Curry.
CULT HEROES – LINDSAY CURRY
by James Kennedy
Just like many who went before him, Lindsay Curry trod the well-worn path from Northern Ireland to cross-channel football, signing for Manchester City at the age of 16.
Brought up in Londonderry’s Fountain Estate, Lindsay played his early football at Templemore Primary School before the family moved to Ballymena.
“There weren’t many teams in Londonderry that I could have played for, and it was when I went to Ballee High School that I first took the game seriously. I was a bit of a quiet man and let my football do the talking”.
Coming to the notice of City scouts, Lindsay finished his schooling then headed for
football-mad Manchester, where he hooked up with several famous names.
“When I first went across the water I shared digs with Chris Coleman, who would later play Premier League football and manage Wales. But Chris didn’t settle and after about four months returned home.”
The Maine Road club at that time featured Mick McCarthy and Sammy McIlroy, while Neil Lennon was also slowly making his way in the game.
“You’d have thought, with all these lads from Ireland at the club, I’d have been OK, but I must admit I was not enjoying living in a house with an old woman”.
And, to make it worse, at a time when Lindsay was progressing through the ranks to 1st Team football, injuries to both ankles struck. With too much free time on his hands, the homesick winger succumbed to some unhealthy off-field activities.
“I wasn’t behaving, and the manager, Billy McNeill, was forever having a go at me. I made the 1st Team squad a few times, but at a time when I should have been listening to the boss’ advice, I thought I knew better”.
His spell in full time football over, Lindsay headed back home, where he was courted by Linfield.
“I was invited to go to Haarlem for a youth tournament, but Ballymena offered me a really good deal and Holland was cancelled. We didn’t do badly in my time there, winning the Irish Cup final against Larne, having beaten Linfield in a semi-final replay!”
Linfield came calling again for the Young Player of the Year in 1990, this time with Eric Bowyer at the helm in the wake of Roy Coyle’s departure, and 3 difficult seasons at Windsor Park followed.
“The Blues paid a big transfer fee, and much was expected of me. Eric was a real gentleman, but he was left with the task of rebuilding an aging team, and we never really challenged for the league title. We lost the Irish Cup final in 1992 and he was soon on his way”.
Trevor Anderson replaced Bowyer, winning the title in his first season. But, even then, there was no happy ending for Lindsay.
“I missed a lot of games and was one short of qualifying for a medal. But the manager wouldn’t give me that extra game, and that left a sour taste”.
The just-married Lindsay was on the move again soon after, this time to Larne.
“Larne offered me a big signing-on fee which, with a young wife to look after, I couldn’t really turn down. I did well at Inver Park and was top scorer before moving back to Ballymena”.
Injury was to play a part in Lindsay finishing with the senior game.
“I got injured against Coleraine and that was it. I applied for my Amateur status to be reinstated so I could play for Carniny Rangers, and I took some coaching courses, getting halfway to the UEFA A qualification”.
Son Ryan currently stars for Harryville Homers, having played for a while in the Linfield junior teams.
“That’s how I pass my Saturdays now, watching Ryan. I work shifts, so it’s hard to commit to any regular involvement in the game, although I usually get a call to see if I’m available to manage one of the local teams every summer!”.