Over the past few weeks Linfieldfc.com has launched a new ‘Monday morning memory lane image’ feature in which we focus on two separate photos and the interesting story behind the photos.
Today’s second contribution features a Linfield team photo with the County Antrim Shield and old Irish Cup trophies won after the 1952/53 season.
The Irish Cup was won on April 25, 1953 following a 5-0 win against Coleraine at Solitude.
The goals were scored by Thompson (2), McDowell, Walker and Dickson.
Winning the County Antrim Shield was less straightforward.
In the first final, Tommy Dickson scored both goals in a 2-2 draw with Distillery at Solitude on May 9.
The replay was also at Solitude on May 13 and even extra time couldn’t separate the two teams. The result was 4-4, with G. Nixon and Dickson scoring two apiece for Linfield.
So, it was back to Solitude for a second replay on this May 18 date exactly 67 years ago today in 1953.
This time Linfield triumphed 2-1, with Dickson and Lunn scoring the goals.
The team line up that won the County Antrim Shield final second replay on May 18 was - Russell, Keith, Lewis, G. Nixon, Hamill, McMillen, Douglas, McDowell, Walker, Dickson and Lunn.
However, that’s not quite the full story - when looking at the photo below, one wonders If there could perhaps have been another trophy, had it not surely been for fatigue.
In amongst those County Antrim Shield final dates with Distillery at Solitude on May 9, 13 and 18, Linfield also slotted in a Gold cup semi final 3-2 win against Ards at Solitude on May 16. Dickson scored 2 and G. Nixon grabbed the other.
And incredibly, the exact same Linfield line up that won the County Antrim Shield at Solitude on May 18 was back at the North Belfast venue a day later, but losing 2-1 to Portadown in the Gold Cup final on May 19. Lunn scored the Linfield goal to end the exhausting sequence of 5 cup ties (4 of them finals) in 10 days at Solitude.
Who knows what might have been, but one can’t help but think that less fatigue / exhaustion and a less congested fixture schedule might have resulted in the Gold cup trophy also being included in the photo below.
All this before the introduction of substitutes in the 1960s.
Linfield FC salutes our County Antrim Shield winning heroes on this May 18 date in 1953 and commends their bravery in coming so close to adding the Gold cup a day later.