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Jim McLaughlin (born 22 December 1940 in Derry, Northern Ireland) is a former Northern Irish footballer and was later a football manager in the League of Ireland.

Contents

Playing career

Left-winger Jimmy McLaughlin burst on to the Irish League scene as a sixteen year-old in 1957/58, scoring on his debut and top-scoring for Derry City with sixteen goals in his first campaign, marking himself as “star material”. In the summer of 1958 he signed apprentice forms with Birmingham City, netting Derry a “satisfactory” £4,000 fee in the process. It wasn’t until a move to Shrewsbury Town two years later that McLaughlin was given his League debut. His adaptability within the forward line meant he slotted in comfortably at centre-forward and inside-forward, as well as his preferred role on the wing.

A return of twenty-plus goals in each of his first two seasons with the Shrews brought McLaughlin to the attentions of Northern Ireland boss, Peter Doherty, who installed him as replacement for another goalscoring outside-left, Peter McParland. He scored on his international debut against Scotland in October 1961, but no doubt any elation was tempered by the 6-1 defeat. A brace on his second international appearance against Greece was the first of two international ‘doubles’. The second, against England in 1964 at Windsor Park, was during a remarkable match in which the English romped into a 4-0 half-time lead thanks to a Jimmy Greaves hattrick. In the second-half the Irish rallied, giving England a real fright by taking the scoreline to 4-3, McLaughlin’s two-goal haul all the more impressive due to a severe shoulder injury.

In May 1963 Division Two Swansea splashed a club-record £16,000 on McLaughlin’s signature. His first campaign at the Vetch Field was so close to both a dream and a nightmare. In the FA Cup Swansea defeated Stoke and Liverpool, where he scored the winner in a FA Cup quarter final tie at the Kop end at Anfield, on the way to the semi-final, where they met Preston North End at Villa Park. McLaughlin scored and hit the wood-work three times, but Preston won through to Wembley courtesy of a controversial penalty and a freak goal by centre-half Tony Singleton, scored from the half-way line. In the League the Swans finished just a point above relegation to Division Three.

McLaughlin’s time with Swansea continued in an up-and-down fashion. In 1965 Swansea succumbed to relegation, but in the following year he won his first senior honour, Chester defeated 2-1 in the Welsh Cup Final. That season he also scored twenty League goals and won his twelfth and final Northern Ireland cap in a 4-1 win over Wales. He scored five goals in his twelve senior appearances. In addition he was capped as a Youth three times and twice at Under-23 level, scoring on each of his appearances against Wales.

A short stay at Peterborough in 1967 preceded McLaughlin’s return to Shrewsbury. In his first campaign back at Gay Meadow the Shrews just missed out on promotion from Division Three, finishing third. Thereafter the club wallowed in the bottom half of Division Three, without really flirting too closely with relegation. He returned to a cash-strapped Swansea (by then renamed ‘Swansea City’) in November 1972. Managed by ex-international colleague Harry Gregg, McLaughlin was appointed player-coach and later secretary. His experience could not help save the Swans from relegation to Division Four, and that was where he played his 461st and final League game, in a 3-1 defeat by Doncaster on 3 November 1973.

Managerial career

His sixteen and a half year reign in England came to an end when in November 1974 he accepted an offer to player/manage Dundalk FC [1]and that was to be the beginning of his managerial career.

As a manager he had great success and during his nine year stay at Oriel Park he led them to 3 Leagues and the FAI Cup 3 times including the double in the 1978/79 season. Dundalk performed commendably in Europe during this period. In the 1979/80 season they reached the last 16 of the European Cup and were drawn with Celtic. Following a 3-2 defeat in Glasgow, Dundalk drew 0-0 at home and missed an opportunity to score a goal that would have put them through on away goals. In the 1981/82 Cup-Winners' Cup campaign, Dundalk once more reached the last 16 and lost 3-2 on aggregate to Tottenham Hotspur.

On the 21st of June 1983 Jim took over at Shamrock Rovers and led the Milltown club to 3 League Championships and 2 FAI Cups in 3 seasons including 2 back to back doubles.

On the 13th of May 1986 he left Rovers to go home and manage Derry City where he led the team to a domestic treble in 1989. His managerial spell at the club lasted from 1986 until 1991. He later went on to co-manage Shelbourne FC with Pat Byrne where another League was won in 1992. In November 1993 he took over at Drogheda United [2] where he stayed for 3 seasons getting relegated twice and promoted in 1994/95.

He had another spell with Dundalk but could not prevent them from being relegated and so his managerial career came to a close in May 1999.

He also took charge of the League of Ireland representative team and the Irish Olympic side.

He was Manager of the Year in 1986 and in February 2002, McLaughlin was awarded with the FAI Special Merit Award in recognition of his achievements and dedication within the domestic game.[1] Later in the year, he was the Shamrock Rovers Hall of Fame recipient and in 2005, he was inducted into the Shamrock Rovers 'Legends'.[2]

In January 2010 he was awarded the SWAI Special Merit Award in recognition to his contribution to Irish football[3].

His son Paul went on to play for Dundalk F.C., Newry City F.C., Derry City F.C. and Drogheda United F.C..

Honours

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As a player

As a manager

Sources

  • The Hoops by Paul Doolan and Robert Goggins (ISBN 0-7171-2121-6)

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Keane wins FAI Award", RTÉ Sport, 2002-02-10.
  2. ^ "Shamrock Rovers Legends", shamrockrovers.ie, 2006-09-08.

External links


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