In the early 1920’s, with Southern Irish clubs resigning from the Irish League to align themselves with the newly formed Football Association of Ireland (Irish Free State), a provincial club such as Glenavon could make an impact on the Irish League for the first time. Two Irish Cup Final appearances and an Irish League runners-up spot in 1920-21 brought Lurgan born left back Jack Curran to the attentions of the selectors for both the Irish Inter-League and International sides. He’d played junior football for Queen’s Park in Lurgan and for Lurgan Rangers before joining Glenavon in 1920.
Curran made his debut for the Irish League in a 1-0 defeat by the Football League at the Oval in October 1921; and for Ireland in a 1-1 draw with Wales at Windsor Park later that season in April 1922. In the summer of 1922 he moved to Pontypridd, then playing in the Welsh Section of the Southern League, where he won two further Irish caps, as well as Welsh League representative honours.
Curran returned to Glenavon in the close season of 1923 and won his fifth and final international cap in a Home Nations match that October with England at Windsor Park, Belfast. The match finished with a 2-1 win for the Irish, and it would be over eighty years before Belfast saw another defeat for England.
In the summer of 1925 Curran was signed by Brighton & Hove Albion, making his Football League debut against Norwich on 14th September. At the time Brighton were described as the best team in the Third Division (South), but they just couldn’t live up to their promise, finishing consistently just short of promotion. After 193 appearances across 6 seasons on the south coast, Curran returned to the Irish League to sign for Linfield during the autumn of 1930. At Windsor Park he picked up the winners’ medals he had earlier missed out on while with Glenavon, clinching the Irish Cup in 1931 and the Irish League in 1932 before retiring in the summer of 1932.