Glentoran F.C.

Last updated

Full nameGlentoran Football Club
Nickname(s)The Glens
Founded1882;139 years ago (1882)
Ground The Oval, Belfast
Capacity15,000 (6,050 safe capacity)
OwnerGlentoran Recreation limited
ChairmanStephen Henderson
Manager Mick McDermott
League NIFL Premiership
2019–20 NIFL Premiership, 5th
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Glentoran Football Club is a professional football club that plays in the NIFL Premiership. The club was founded in 1882.



Early history

In 1914, Glentoran won the Vienna Cup, becoming the second U.K. team to win a European trophy, although as this competition took place several decades before the formation of UEFA, it is not recognised as such. [1]


George Best watched Glentoran with his grandfather as a youth, but was rejected by the club for being "too small and light". However, Best did make one appearance for Glentoran, in the club's centenary match against Manchester United. [2]

In 1964–65, Glentoran faced Panathinaikos in the European Cup and drew 2–2 at home and lost 3–2 away. In the following season's Fairs Cup, they faced Antwerp resulting a 1–0 defeat away and 3–3 draw at home. The Cup-Winners' Cup in 1966–67 saw Glentoran draw 1–1 with Rangers in front of a packed Oval before losing the away leg 4–0.

Glentoran's finest hour came in a European Cup encounter with Benfica in 1967. The tie was played over two legs, the first being at the Oval. Glentoran scored a penalty early on and held out for nearly sixty minutes until football great Eusébio equalised. The match ended 1–1. The return tie was at Benfica's Estádio da Luz. Part-time Glentoran were expected to crumble under the pressure of the occasion, but again held out for a famous 0–0 draw. Benfica advanced to the next round on the away goals rule. Glentoran were the first team to lose out to this rule and the first team to stop Benfica scoring at home. [3]

In 1967, the club ran the Detroit Cougars football franchise in the United Soccer Association. [4] The newly formed league had planned for an inaugural season in 1968, but when the rival National Professional Soccer League announced a start date of 1967 and a television contract with CBS, the league owners decided to fast track their league by importing entire squads from Europe and South America. The two leagues would eventually merge and form the North American Soccer League the following year.


In 1973–74, Glentoran reached the quarter-finals of the Cup-Winners' Cup. They faced Borussia Mönchengladbach in the quarter-finals and were beaten 2–0 and 5–0. Four seasons later they faced Juventus in a European Cup match and lost 1–0 at home (Warren Feeney missing a late penalty) and 5–0 away.


In 1981–82, Glentoran reached the second round of the European Cup and faced eventual semi-finalists CSKA Sofia. After a 2–0 defeat away, Glentoran went 2–0 up in the return leg to force the game into extra time. The final result was 2–1, Glentoran going out 3–2 on aggregate.

The 1985 Irish Cup final between the "Big Two" saw another famous incident. Glentoran supporters brought a cockerel, the club's emblem, to the match and a pig, painted in royal blue colour, the colour of bitter rivals, Linfield. The two animals stayed on the sidelines for the duration of the match. Glentoran fans also brought a cockerel to the 2006 Irish Cup final, it too stayed on the sidelines for the duration, Glentoran lost the game 2–1, thus ending their unbeaten post-war record against Linfield in Irish Cup finals. This run of 5 victories over Linfield in post-war finals which started in 1966 continued until Glentoran's defeat in the 2006 final. [5]


In 1995 Glentoran played their traditional Boxing Day match against Linfield on a snow-covered pitch. In the first half the orange ball was damaged, and not having a replacement the teams were forced to play with a white ball for the remainder of the game. The incident was used as a "What Happened Next" question on the BBC's A Question of Sport . [6]

Former Linfield manager Roy Coyle took charge of the club in 1997 and under his stewardship the club entered another period of success. In Coyle's first cup final in charge he gave up the right to lead the team out, instead he asked long serving Kitman Teddy Horner have this honour.


The 2002–03 season was one of the club's most successful in recent times. Of a potential four trophies, Glentoran won three, capturing the Irish League championship, Irish League Cup and County Antrim Shield but fell at the final hurdle, losing the Irish Cup Final 1–0 to Coleraine. The only Irish League to complete the clean sweep of all trophies is Linfield who have achieved this on 3 occasions. They won 7 trophies in 1921–22 and 7 in 1961–62 and also 4 trophies in 1955–56. To come so close to a clean sweep in 2003 and fail was a bitter pill to swallow.

On 23 April 2005, Glentoran defeated their rivals Linfield in the second last game but one of the league season. In the 93rd minute of the match, Glentoran, who needed victory in order to have a chance of clinching the league title, scored a goal via their centre forward (and former Linfield player) Chris Morgan. There were confrontations between the two sets of fans following the match. Hooliganism was commonplace at matches between the clubs in the past. However this has reduced significantly in recent years. [7]

Roy Coyle won 16 trophies with Glentoran and is the club's most successful manager in the club's history.

Financial troubles (2006–2019)

Millar (2006–2007)

After eight years in charge of Glentoran, Roy Coyle resigned as manager after a string of indifferent results. On 14 February 2006 the club announced that former Newry City manager Paul Millar was to take over the manager's position. [8] Since taking over, performances improved and he led his team into the Irish Cup final with rivals Linfield. Despite taking the lead in the first half, Linfield won the game with two goals from Peter Thompson. He also led his new club to their biggest ever defeat against their bitter cross-city rivals Linfield in a 6–0 defeat at Windsor Park. The Glens have sought to reduce the gap between them and Linfield by signing Kyle Neill and Gary Hamilton from Portadown and re-signing former fan's favourite Gary Smyth. Also arriving was another former player, Jason Hill, former Portadown and Newry City player Cullen Feeney and promising young keeper Ciaran McLaughlin from Ards.

Paul Millar was sacked as manager on 17 May 2007 after less than fifteen months in the job, having steered the club to two successive seasons finishing second in the League behind Linfield. He had the backing of chairman Stafford Reynolds, but the majority of the board and fans wanted his departure. The start of his second season in charge had looked promising. As Glentoran led the league summit, they were five points clear of Linfield at Christmas. Arguably ten minutes of football wrecked what looked to be a very successful campaign. Glentoran were leading Portadown 2 – 1 with eighty-five minutes gone. Two late goals sealed Glentoran's first defeat of the season and ultimately led to successive defeats, and the slight climax (8–0 vs. Armagh City). Fans were disappointed with the style of football displayed by the team in the later months of Millar's reign.

McDonald (2007–2010)

On 24 May 2007 former Crusaders and Glenavon manager Roy Walker was appointed as Glentoran manager along with assistant manager Billy Sinclair. Walker previously led Crusaders to two league titles in 1995 and 1997. After leaving football management for seven years, Walker became a football analyst with BBC Radio Ulster. He was quoted as saying, "Glentoran were my boyhood team and are probably the only club which could have attracted me back." [9]

However, on 26 May 2007 it was revealed that Walker would not be able to take up the post, due to not possessing the necessary UEFA coaching qualifications. [10]

Less than one week later Glentoran appointed head coach Alan McDonald as manager. Roy Walker gracefully walked away but stated in the Belfast Telegraph that he would not rest until director of football Tom Dick stood down. Mr Dick then did so, but also criticised the club chairman Stafford Reynolds. Reynolds confirmed that he would step down if the right person could be found to take over. Alan McDonald, the new manager, has so far secured former Glentoran player Rory Hamill, Daryl Fordyce from Portsmouth, winger Jamie McGovern from West Bromwich Albion and Dungannon Swifts winger David Scullion and has re-signed Chris Morgan and Tim McCann. Darren Lockhart left the club at the time to join Crusaders on a one-year load deal along with defender Gary Smith. In January Glentoran managed to bring in Shane Mcabe from Dungannon and Darren Boyce from Coleraine. [11]

Alan McDonald won two trophies with The Glens and also led the Glens to the final of the Setanta Cup. In McDonald's first season as manager, Glentoran defeated Crusaders in the County Antrim Shield final. The next season, Glentoran won the league after a strong race with Linfield. Glentoran finished three successive seasons, 2006–2008, as runners-up to three times Double Champions Linfield. Since then, notable signings at the club include Matthew Burrows, from Dundela (where he scored fifty-three goals last term), Johnny Taylor (from Hearts) and former Lisburn Distillery player Andy Waterworth for a fee of £30,000. Glentoran's build up to the season included friendlies against Hearts, Burnley and Ipswich Town. However, Glentoran's start to the season was delayed by a referee strike led by their association's Chairman, David Malcolm, citing higher wage demands. This ultimately postponed all week one fixtures. The following week, in the game against Glenavon, Glentoran's pitch was declared unplayable. Matches against Bangor and then Linfield were cancelled, and this led to Glentoran facing Bangor in the first Irish League game to be played on a Sunday. The historic scoreline was 1–0. Glentoran also unexpectedly reached the final of the Setanta Sports Cup 2008, a cup in which the top four clubs from both the Irish League and League of Ireland play each other. Glentoran defeated Linfield with a 4–1 win, making the group a more open competition. This was followed up by a 1–0 win in a home match again St. Patrick's Athletic. In the final on 13 October 2008, Glentoran were defeated by League of Ireland side Cork City 2–1 at Turners Cross. On 2 May 2009 Glentoran won the first ever Irish Premiership by defeating Cliftonville 3–1 at The Oval. This was their first league title since a 2005 win, ending Linfield's 3-year dominance on all fronts. Alan McDonald would in the coming weeks sign a new 2-year contract with the club after much speculation, keeping him there until 2011. Glentoran's only summer signings for 2009 were Richard Clarke from Newry City and Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie on a free transfer.

Young (2010–2012)

In March 2010, after McDonald resigned, former player Scott Young was put in charge of the Glens until the end of the 2010–11 season along with Pete Batey as assistant manager and Tim McCann as head coach. Young led Glentoran into the 2009–10 Irish League Cup final against Coleraine. The bannsiders were the favourites for the match but the Glens were the team who came out victorious, winning 4–1 on penalties after the match ended in a 2–2 draw. At the end of the season, Young along with Batey and McCann signed a deal with the Glens to stay on as manager. Former Glentoran manager Roy Coyle, who brought a huge amount of success, became director of football.

Young stunned the fans by releasing a couple of the club's higher-profile players, including Michael Halliday and Keith Gillespie. Halliday joined North Belfast side Crusaders. Kyle Neill also left the club and joined Glenavon. Dean Fitzgerald and Shane McCabe were also among the players released.

Gary Hamilton went out on loan to Glenavon, and back in December 2011 took on the role as manager of the club (after the resignation of Marty Quinn), after being released of his playing obligations by Glentoran. During Young's first season as manager, Glentoran's financial difficulties escalated, until HMRC issued Glentoran a winding-up order, and gave the club until the beginning of January 2011 to clear all outstanding debts which totalled over £300,000. A fundraising organisation, Spirit of '41(which was named after the year when The Oval was bombed by Germans and the massive effort to rebuild it) was set up, and to this day has raised over £25,000. On 12 January 2011, a special EGM was held which set out the proposals that would save Glentoran from oblivion and change radically how the club is run. The vote was passed unanimously with the condition that 3 new board members were added, including a new chairman, and the previous chairman stepped down to vice-chairman.

On 5 October 2010, Glentoran player Matty Burrows scored a backheel goal against Portadown, which won Burrows the ESPN goal of the season and Sky Sports goal of the season. The goal also achieved millions of views on YouTube and went up against world-famous player Lionel Messi for the FIFA goal of the season award. Burrows narrowly lost out on the award with many saying he didn't win because he wasn't a high-profile player. When José Mourinho saw the goal he was quoted as saying "how much does it cost to buy this guy", whilst Cristiano Ronaldo said that the goal deserved to win and would be very difficult for him to attempt.

On 7 July 2011, Glentoran beat Macedonian side FK Renova in the Europa League first qualifying round after the Glens overturned a 2–1 away defeat by winning the home leg 2–1 at The Oval and thus levelling the score on aggregate. The match was decided by penalties. Glentoran progressed after winning the shoot-out 3–2.

Young started his second season very well, with a 2–1 win away to Crusaders. However, the 2011–12 season would turn out to be disappointing for Young and the club. Rory Patterson was set to come back at the club, but could not agree on the contract following the finance problems. Patterson joined Glentoran's bitter rivals Linfield. However, Matty Burrows returned to the club, but struggled to maintain his place. The club then started to go through a run of poor results and started to lose supporters. Despite beating Linfield three times, Glentoran lost in the County Antrim Shield final to Cliftonville and continued their losing streak in the league. Then on 14 January 2012, Glentoran were knocked out of the 2011–12 Irish Cup by Amateur league side Newington Youth Club. Young then resigned after the game. Director of Football Roy Coyle was put in charge for the match against Ballymena United.

Patterson (2012–2015)

Former Lisburn Distillery boss Paul Kirk, former Crusaders and Ballymena United boss Roy Walker, former Cliftonville boss Eddie Patterson, and former Coleraine boss Marty Quinn were among the possible contenders for the job including former player Pat McGibbon and Ian Foster. Walker and Patterson applied for the job along with McGibbon and Foster on 1 February 2012. Patterson was appointed manager of the club on Wednesday 22 February 2012. Glentoran finished the 2011–12 league season in 6th place, a massive 28 points behind the league champions; cross-city rivals Linfield. However, some consolation came from the fact that they beat Linfield in all four league meetings between the sides that season, without conceding a goal in the process.

During the summer of 2012, Patterson made several signings such as Marcus Kane, Jay Magee and Mark Clarke. The Glens started the 2012–13 season well with a 3–1 victory over Donegal Celtic. This was followed by three consecutive 1–1 draws against Glenavon, Cliftonville and Linfield. One day before the game against Linfield, the club announced the signing of Stuart Elliott, who was returning to the club where he made his name before moving across the water to play for Hull City, Motherwell and Hamilton Academical. Glentoran defeated Ballinamallard United 4–1 and Dungannon Swifts 3–1 in the space of a week, pushing them up to second in the league. The Glens then secured a 0–0 home draw against Coleraine in a top of the table clash before defeating Lisburn Distillery 3–0 a week later. A 1–1 draw against Ballymena United at the Showgrounds made it nine league games unbeaten from the start of the season.

However, the unbeaten run came to an end in the next game when Crusaders won 2–0 at Seaview on 6 October 2012, just 5 days after an enthralling County Antrim Shield quarter-final defeat against Linfield which saw three goals in the final minutes of the game, ending 3–2 to Linfield. One week after the Crusaders loss, Glentoran was beaten for the second successive league game (their first home loss of the season), when Portadown won 1–0 at The Oval.

The club's financial problems would soon come to light again. In November 2012 it was reported that the squad had refused to train because they had not received their wages for two months. If the problem continued, it may have reached the stage where the players would have the right to be released from their contracts. Back on the field, the club had mixed results in the next six league games. Three wins, a draw, and two defeats which included a disappointing 2–1 loss away to Donegal Celtic, left the Glens sitting in fifth place in the league at the end of November, twelve points behind pacesetters Cliftonville.

The 2012–13 league campaign ultimately ended with the club finishing fourth in the table. However, the season ended on a high note as the Glens overcame favourites and newly crowned league champions Cliftonville 3–1 after extra time in the Irish Cup final on 4 May 2013. This was the club's first Irish Cup win in nine years.

In the 2014–15 Season Glentoran won another Irish cup against Portadown and the 2nd under Eddie Patterson. The game was played at The Oval because construction work at Windsor park had gone wrong and the Kop stand was deemed unstable and needed to be knocked down. The game finished 1–0 after a very wet afternoon in East Belfast.

After defeating Carrick Rangers 2–0 at home news had broke that Eddie Patterson had been sacked. A club statement was then released explaining that the current position in the table wasn't at best interest from club and fans as the club is under pressure to make progress year on year. It then emerged that the next game would be in the hands of Roy Coyle a former Manager at the club as caretaker boss.

Kernaghan (2015–2016)

On 9 November 2015 Alan Kernaghan was appointed as Glentoran manager. [12] Kernaghan started with some promising results and managed to end the 2015/16 season in 5th Position.The Glens made several signings that summer in the hope of returning to the top 3 and returning to regular European football signing included former Ballymena United goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson, Portadown defender Ross Redman, resigned former player James Ferrin, Eric Foley from Galway United and the signing of Rangers Spanish legend Nacho Novo the Glens started the season inconsistently with two 1–0 wins against Dungannon Swifts and Portadown and two defeats against Cliftonville and struggling Carrick Rangers. The pressure starting to mount on Kernaghan was severely increased when they were beaten 4–1 by Coleraine with many thinking the writing was on the wall for Kernaghan reign as manager and following a shock 3–2 League Cup defeat to Championship side Annagh United, Kernaghan resigned as manager of Glentoran.

Haveron (2016–2018)

Gary Haveron became manager on 28 September 2016. In January 2017, Glentoran suffered a 2–1 Irish Cup 5th Round defeat at the Oval to fierce rivals Linfield after extra time. Haveron was sacked by the club on 21 February 2018, following a 2–1 defeat to Ards at the Oval, with the club citing his performances were not good enough. The team was sixth in the league at that stage. Haveron did, however, lead the Glens to a 2017 Boxing Day victory, beating Linfield 2–1.

McFall (2018–2019)

Following Haverons dismissal, Glentoran reappointed Ronnie McFall as manager. A management reshuffle was announced which saw Gary Smyth become his assistant manager and Paul Leeman become a coach at the club. Kieran Harding was also an assistant to McFall. McFalls second spell proved unsuccessful. McFall left the club on 3 January 2019. At that point, the team were 9th in the league table, 5 points above the relegation zone.

Smyth (2019)

Gary Smyth became the caretaker manager of Glentoran on 3 January 2019. [13] His first match was a 4–1 defeat to Crusaders in the Irish Cup. Paul Leeman was his assistant, with Kieran Harding, who was assistant to McFall becoming a coach. The months after saw an improvement in form. Smyth, who did not hold the required coaching qualifications to lead the club into the playoffs or UEFA competition was replaced on 31 March 2019, the deadline day for UEFA Licensing by Mick McDermott. [14]

New ownership and management (2019–)

Mick McDermott became manager as a part of a deal which involved a group of investors putting finance into Glentoran. An EGM was held on 16 May 2019 for shareholders to vote on the proposal. 96% of shareholders approved the investment. [15] Paul Millar rejoined the club as Mick McDermott's assistant manager. Kieran Harding remained as a coach, however Gary Smyth and Paul Leeman were not seen in the dug-out for the following matches. On 21 May 2019, Glentoran announced Smyth had left the club, a controversial decision amongst some fans. [16] Leeman left two days later despite both being offered to be retained in the same roles and with the same benefits under the new and correctly qualified management team. [17] [18] On 4 February 2020, the Glentoran Chairman Stephen Henderson announced on behalf of the club, that its was finally free of external debt. Once having been £1.77 million in the red, the Board of Directors had cleared 80% of the debt across the decade and prior to the new investment in the club. A combination of the investor and the old board then settled the final remaining debt with the last outstanding creditor. [19] During McDermott's first full season in charge at the East Belfast club, he and Millar led the side to victory in the Irish Cup final on 31 July 2020. Glentoran defeated Ballymena United 2–1 in the final after extra-time, with goals coming from Paul O'Neill and Robbie McDaid. [20] [21]

Stadium and redevelopment

Glentoran Community Trust mural on the Newtownards Road, depicting past players, the Vienna Cup and the Detroit Cougars. Glentoran Community Trust mural.jpg
Glentoran Community Trust mural on the Newtownards Road, depicting past players, the Vienna Cup and the Detroit Cougars.

In March 2003, the club's board of directors advised the shareholders of Glentoran Recreation Company Ltd to sell the Oval to a property development holding company called Girona. To date, no new ground has materialised. A campaign waged by a group of volunteer supporters called Rest In East, was then set up to keep the club in east Belfast. The club's Board of directors have suggested moving close to a town called Comber, well outside the city bounds of Belfast, which the majority of supporters firmly oppose.

On 3 November 2005 a fans forum voted 417–0 in favour of forming Glentoran Community Trust, the first supporters' trust to be formed in Northern Ireland. It was officially formed on 15 May 2006 and registered with the Registry of Companies Belfast under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965–1978. The trust sits completely independent of the parent club, giving the ordinary non-shareholding supporter a voice. [22] On 29 January 2008, the GCT took another historic step, when one of its members, Stephen Henderson was elected to the board of directors by the shareholders of Glentoran FC, with the most votes ever gained in an election. This would prove an important step for the club during the financial crisis that would soon engulf it.

On 12 January 2011, a resolution was passed that gives the GCT two permanent board members. Recently, Glentoran formed a strategic alliance partnership with Insaka AFC, the football club of the African Youth Diaspora in the Irish Republic by forming Insaka-Glentoran Football Academy at the same time becoming the first club on the island of Ireland to adopt a whole club approach to the UEFA 'Respect' campaign.

On 24 May 2016, Supporters approved a board recommendation, at the club end of season AGM, to demolish and redevelop The Oval into a modern new community-based stadium, over alternative proposed moves to sites at Sydenham and Titanic Quarter. Funding will come from a £10million amount that has been on hold for the Glens under the Government's £110m sports grounds improvement programme that has led to the creation of the new Windsor Park and Ulster Rugby's Kingspan Stadium in tandem with redevelopment at venues across the country.

European record


As of 27 August 2020.

European Cup / UEFA Champions League
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup / UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League
European Cup Winners' Cup / UEFA Cup Winners' Cup


SeasonCompetitionRoundOpponentHomeAway Aggregate
1962–63 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1R Flag of Spain.svg Real Zaragoza 0–22–62–8
1963–64 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1R Flag of Scotland.svg Partick Thistle 1–40–31–7
1964–65 European Cup 1R Flag of Greece.svg Panathinaikos 2–22–34–5
1965–66 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1R Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Royal Antwerp 3–30–13–4
1966–67 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Flag of Scotland.svg Rangers 1–10–41–5
1967–68 European Cup 1R Flag of Portugal.svg Benfica 1–10–01–1 (a)
1968–69 European Cup 1R Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Anderlecht 2–20–32–5
1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1R Flag of England.svg Arsenal 1–00–31–3
1970–71 European Cup 1R Flag of Ireland.svg Waterford 1–30–11–4
1971–72 UEFA Cup 1R Flag of Germany.svg Eintracht Braunschweig 0–11–61–7
1973–74 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Flag of Romania.svg Chimia Râmnicu Vâlcea 2–02–24–2
2R Flag of Norway.svg Brann 3–11–14–2
QF Flag of Germany.svg Borussia Mönchengladbach 0–20–50–7
1975–76 UEFA Cup 1R Flag of the Netherlands.svg Ajax 1–60–81–14
1976–77 UEFA Cup 1R Flag of Switzerland.svg Basel 3–20–33–5
1977–78 European Cup 1R Flag of Iceland.svg Valur 2–00–12–1
2R Flag of Italy.svg Juventus 0–10–50–6
1978–79 UEFA Cup 1R Flag of Iceland.svg ÍBV 1–10–01–1 (a)
1981–82 European Cup 1R Flag of Luxembourg.svg Progrès Niederkorn 4–01–15–1
2R Flag of Bulgaria.svg CSKA Sofia 2–1 (a.e.t.)0–22–3
1982–83 UEFA Cup 1R Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Baník Ostrava 1–30–11–4
1983–84 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Flag of France.svg Paris Saint-Germain 1–21–22–4
1984–85 UEFA Cup 1R Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Standard Liège 1–10–21–3
1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Flag of Iceland.svg Fram 1–01–32–3
1986–87 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Flag of East Germany.svg Lokomotive Leipzig 1–10–21–3
1987–88 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Flag of Finland.svg RoPS 1–10–01–1 (a)
1987–88 European Cup 1R Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Spartak Moscow 1–10–21–3
1989–90 UEFA Cup 1R Flag of Scotland.svg Dundee United 1–30–21–5
1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București 1–10–51–6
1992–93 UEFA Champions League 1R Flag of France.svg Marseille 0–50–30–8
1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup QR Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Sparta Prague 1–20–81–10
1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup QR Flag of Israel.svg Maccabi Haifa 0–11–21–3
1999–00 UEFA Champions League 1QR Flag of Bulgaria.svg Litex Lovech 0–20–30–5
2000–01 UEFA Cup QR Flag of Norway.svg Lillestrøm 0–30–10–4
2001–02 UEFA Cup QR Flag of Denmark.svg Midtjylland 0–41–11–5
2002–03 UEFA Cup QR Flag of Poland.svg Wisła Kraków 0–20–40–6
2003–04 UEFA Champions League 1QR Flag of Finland.svg HJK 0–00–10–1
2004–05 UEFA Cup 1QR Flag of Finland.svg Allianssi 2–22–14–3
2QR Flag of Sweden.svg Elfsborg 0–11–21–3
2005–06 UEFA Champions League 1QR Flag of Ireland.svg Shelbourne 1–21–42–6
2006–07 UEFA Cup 1QR Flag of Norway.svg Brann 0–10–10–2
2007–08 UEFA Cup 1QR Flag of Sweden.svg AIK 0–50–40–9
2008–09 UEFA Cup 1QR Flag of Latvia.svg Liepājas Metalurgs 1–10–21–3
2009–10 UEFA Champions League 2QR Flag of Israel.svg Maccabi Haifa 0–40–60–10
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 1QR Flag of Iceland.svg KR Reykjavík 2–20–32–5
2011–12 UEFA Europa League 1QR Flag of North Macedonia.svg Renova 2–1 (a.e.t.)1–23–3, 3–2 (p)
2QR Flag of Ukraine.svg Vorskla Poltava 0–20–30–5
2013–14 UEFA Europa League 1QR Flag of Iceland.svg KR Reykjavík 0–30–00–3
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1QR Flag of Slovakia.svg Žilina 1–40–31–7
2020–21 UEFA Europa League PR Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg HB Tórshavn 1–0N/AN/A
1QR Flag of Scotland.svg Motherwell N/A1–5N/A


UEFA club ranking

As of the 2019 UEFA Club Rankings. [24]

443 Ulster Banner.svg Ballymena United 0.250
444 Ulster Banner.svg Glentoran0.250
445 Flag of San Marino.svg SP Tre Penne


Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

1 GK Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Elliot Morris
2 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR William Garrett
3 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Marcus Kane(captain)
4 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Luke McCullough
5 MF Flag of Burundi.svg  BDI Gaël Bigirimana
6 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Chris Gallagher
7 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Jamie McDonagh
8 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Dale Gorman
10 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Ruaidhrí Donnelly
11 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Robbie McDaid
12 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Andrew Mitchell
14 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Cameron Stewart
15 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Patrick McClean
16 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Seanan Clucas
17 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Bobby Burns (on loan from Barrow)
18 GK Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Rory Brown
19 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Ciaran O'Connor
20 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Mal Smith
21 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Joe Crowe
22 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Conor McMenamin
23 GK Flag of Gibraltar.svg  GIB Dayle Coleing
24 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Caolan Marron
26 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Ben Cushnie
27 MF Flag of Croatia.svg  CRO Hrvoje Plum
28 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Rhys Marshall
30 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Jay Donnelly
32 DF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Keith Cowan
35 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Lewis McGarvey

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

22 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Steven Gordon(to Carrick Rangers until end of the season)
25 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR James McCarthy(to Harland & Wolff Welders until end of the season)
31 GK Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Paul McLaughlin(to Bangor until end of the season)
-- FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Jonny Frazer(to Carrick Rangers until end of the season)

Under 20 squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

1 GK Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Rhys Clougherty
1 GK Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Matthew Davidson
2 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Corai Quinn
3 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Lee Newell
4 DF Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  ZIM Nqobile Mlotshwa
5 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Mal Smith
6 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Daniel Smith
7 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Carl Lennox
8 MF Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Cieran Clougherty(Captain)
9 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Kris Gaw
10 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Sean Wallace
11 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Nathan Best
12 DF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Bailey Locke
14 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Padraig Hughes
15 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Brent Ritchie
16 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Joe O'Connor
17 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Ross Tharma
18 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Benjamin Magee
20 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Mark Herdman
21 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Callum Clokey


Glentoran runs the Glentoran Academy, to help promote football to younger players. It is the fastest growing football academy in the country and includes players, both boys and girls from the age of 4. The Academy also includes a disability section and a Polish language section, where playing for the team requires attendance at training and at English language classes. In 2015–16, the club had 44 players representing Northern Ireland at different age groups, twice as many as any other club. In the summer of 2016, 4 more players left the academy to take up places at English professional clubs academies. The Academy was set up in June 2008. [25]

Managerial history

See Category:Glentoran F.C. managers.

List only counts permanent managers.


Senior honours

Defunct Competitions

All-Ireland honours

European Honours

Intermediate honours

† Won by Glentoran II (reserve team)

Junior honours

† Won by Glentoran II (reserve team)

Related Research Articles

Portadown F.C. Association football club in Northern Ireland

Portadown Football Club is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club that plays in the NIFL Premiership.

Linfield F.C. Association football club in Northern Ireland

Linfield Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which plays in the NIFL Premiership – the highest level of the Northern Ireland Football League. The club was founded in 1886 as Linfield Athletic Club and in 1905 moved into their current home of Windsor Park, which is also the home of the Northern Ireland national team. The club's badge displays Windsor Castle, in reference to the ground's namesake. Historically, Linfield's main rival has been Glentoran with whom they contest the Big Two derby. This rivalry traditionally includes a league derby played on Boxing Day each year, which usually attracts the largest league attendance of the season. Linfield's average league home attendance is approximately 2,500, the highest in the division and more than double the league's overall average of about 1,000.

Ballymena United F.C. Association football club in Northern Ireland

Ballymena United Football Club is a semi-professional football club from Northern Ireland. Based in Ballymena, County Antrim, the team competes in the NIFL Premiership and plays home matches at the Ballymena Showgrounds. The club is managed by David Jeffrey.

Cliftonville F.C. Association football club in Northern Ireland

Cliftonville Football & Athletic Club is an Northern Irish association football club playing in the NIFL Premiership – the top division of the Northern Ireland Football League. The club was founded in September 1879 by John McAlery in the suburb of Cliftonville in north Belfast; it is the oldest football club in Ireland and celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2019. Since 1890, the club has played home matches at Solitude. Cliftonville contests the North Belfast derby with nearest rivals Crusaders, and also has historical rivalries with Glentoran and Linfield. The club has won the Irish League Premiership five times outright including one shared title, the Irish Cup eight times and the Irish League Cup five times.

Crusaders F.C. Association football club in Northern Ireland

Crusaders Football Club is a professional Northern Irish football club, playing in the NIFL Premiership. The club, founded in 1898, is based in north Belfast and plays its home matches at Seaview.

The Irish Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly referred to as the Irish Cup is the primary football knock-out cup competition in Northern Ireland. Inaugurated in 1881, it is the fourth-oldest national cup competition in the world. Prior to the break-away from the Irish Football Association by clubs from what would become the Irish Free State in 1921, the Irish Cup was the national cup competition for the whole of Ireland.

Northern Ireland Football League Cup

The Northern Ireland Football League Cup, also known colloquially as the Irish League Cup, is a national football knock-out cup competition in Northern Ireland open to all member clubs of the Northern Ireland Football League. It is the third-most prestigious competition in domestic Northern Irish football after the NIFL Premiership and Irish Cup. It should not be confused with the Irish League Floodlit Cup which ran from 1987–88 to 1997–98. Unlike the Irish Cup, the League Cup does not have a berth for UEFA Europa Conference League qualification. The cup has been operated by the Northern Ireland Football League since the 2013–14 season when it took over the administration from the Irish Football Association (IFA), after which the cup was renamed to the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) Cup.

The Oval (Belfast)

The Oval is a football stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which has been home to Glentoran F.C. since 1892.

Edward Patterson, better known as Eddie Patterson is the former manager of NIFL Premiership clubs Cliftonville and Glentoran. He was relieved of his duties as Glentoran manager on Saturday 17 October 2015. Despite winning two Irish Cups in three years, the club highlighted deteriorating league positions and performances as the main reason for his dismissal.

Roy Coyle is a former Northern Ireland international footballer and the most successful manager in the history of the Irish Football League. He is the Director of Football at Glentoran.

The 2009–10 IFA Premiership was the second season of the league in this format since its establishment after a major overhaul of the league system in Northern Ireland, and the 109th season of Irish league football overall. It began on 8 August 2009 and ended on 1 May 2010. Glentoran were the defending champions. On 27 April 2010, Linfield clinched the title after a 1–0 victory against Cliftonville at Windsor Park. On 14 May 2010, Institute were relegated to the 2010–11 IFA Championship, after losing the two-legged relegation play-off to Donegal Celtic, who took their place in the 2010–11 IFA Premiership.

The 2010–11 IFA Premiership was the third season since its establishment after a major overhaul of the league system in Northern Ireland, and the 110th season of Irish league football overall. The season began on 7 August 2010, and concluded on 30 April 2011.

Scott Young is a Scottish former professional footballer, turned manager.

The 2012–13 IFA Premiership was the fifth season of Northern Ireland's national football league in this format since its inception in 2008, and the 112th season of Irish league football overall.

The 2013–14 NIFL Premiership was the sixth season of Northern Ireland's national football league in this format since its inception in 2008, the 113th season of Irish league football overall, and the first season of the league operating as part of the newly-created Northern Ireland Football League. The season began on 10 August 2013 and concluded on 26 April 2014.

The 2014–15 Irish Cup was the 135th edition of the premier knock-out cup competition in Northern Irish football since its introduction in 1881. The competition began on 23 August 2014 with the first round, and concluded on 2 May 2015 with the final. For the first time since 1995, the Oval was chosen as the final venue following the discovery of damage to a stand at Windsor Park during the stadium's redevelopment.

The 2015–16 NIFL Premiership was the eighth season of Northern Ireland's highest national football league in this format since its inception in 2008, the 115th season of Irish league football overall, and the third season of the league operating as part of the Northern Ireland Football League. The season began on 8 August 2015, and concluded with the final round of fixtures on 23 April 2016. The play-offs took place in May 2016.

The 2015–16 Irish Cup was the 136th edition of the premier knock-out cup competition in Northern Irish football since its introduction in 1881. The competition began on 18 August 2015 with the first round and concluded with the final at Windsor Park on 7 May 2016. The cup was sponsored by Tennent's Lager, the competition's first title sponsor since 2012.

The 2016–17 NIFL Premiership was the ninth season of Northern Ireland's highest national football league in this format since its inception in 2008, the 116th season of Irish league football overall, and the fourth season of the league operating as part of the Northern Ireland Football League. The fixtures were announced on 7 July 2016. The season began on 6 August 2016 and ended on 29 April 2017, with the play-offs taking place in May 2017.

Isaac McCandlish McDowell was a Scottish footballer and football manager who played as an inside-right for Dunoon Athletic, Glasgow Perthshire, Airdrieonians, Dumbarton, King's Park, Cowdenbeath, Port Vale, Coleraine, Linfield, and Ards. He later managed Ards, Linfield and Glentoran.


  1. Luney, Graham (8 February 2007). "Glens set to get the party started". The Belfast Telegraph . Independent News & Media.
  2. "Glens land Man Utd glamour match". BBC Sport. 14 August 2006.
  3. "1967/68 European Champions Clubs' Cup – Glentoran FC". UEFA. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  4. "Glentoran Football Club - The Pride of East Belfast - Detroit Cougars".
  5. "Ten oddest animal camoes". Observer Sport Monthly. Guardian Media Group. 6 November 2005.
  6. Video on YouTube
  7. "Crowd trouble mars Belfast derby". BBC Sport. 23 April 2005.
  8. "Millar appointed Glentoran boss". BBC Sport. 14 February 2006.
  9. "Walker takes over as Glens boss". BBC Sport. 24 May 2007.
  10. "Walker unable to take Glens job". BBC Sport. 26 May 2007.
  11. Luney, Graham (18 June 2007). "Big Mac bringing passion to Oval". The Belfast Telegraph. Independent News & Media.
  12. "Glentoran appoint new manager". Glentoran. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  13. "Ronnie McFall resigns". Glentoran. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  14. Steven Beacom (28 March 2019). "Boss Gary Smyth forced out as investors move in". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  15. "Glentoran shareholders endore investment proposal". Glentoran. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  16. "Gary Smyth leaves". Glentoran. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  17. "Paul Leeman leaves". Glentoran. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  18. Steven Beacom (24 May 2019). "Glentoran Hero Number Two sacked by post as Leeman shares fate of Smyth". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  19. Steven Beacom (4 February 2020). Belfast Telegraph . Retrieved 4 February 2020.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. "Glentoran 2-1 Ballymena United". Glentoran. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  21. "As it happened: McDaid the hero as Glentoran lift the Irish Cup". BBC Sport. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  22. IFA Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  23. "Glentoran –".
  24. "Member associations - UEFA rankings - Club coefficients –".
  25. "Glentoran Academy". Glentoran. Retrieved 30 July 2016.

Coordinates: 54°36′11″N5°53′29″W / 54.60306°N 5.89139°W / 54.60306; -5.89139