Enright Joe Image 1 Leeds City 1910

Enright Joe Image 1 Leeds City 1910


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Athlone, County Westmeath born inside forward Joe Enright began his football career with Athlone Town before signing for Shelbourne in July 1908. He came to the notice of English clubs when he was selected for the Irish League against the Football League at Boundary Park in October 1909 and again against The Scottish League at Firhill two weeks later, and became one of several Irish players to be signed by Frank Scott-Walford, the Manager of Leeds City, signing for them in May 1910. “Another international footballer from Athlone has come to light in the person of young Enright, who during the past season played so brilliantly for Shelbourne,” reported the Westmeath Independent, adding, “Great things are expected.”

Enright made his Football League debut against Blackpool that September, scoring the opening goal in a 2-1 home defeat, and Flaneur reported in the Leeds Mercury: “Only Enright of the new men really did the Ould Counthry any real credit, and he and Croot were easily the best of the line”. Wanderer’s report in the Mercury of the 3-2 defeat at Huddersfield on 24th September was typical of the reviews the Irishman received all season long: “Little Enright, as one so frequently hears him called, was perhaps as good as any of the forwards. Plucky, energetic and tricky, he was always a source of danger.” He was a regular in Leeds’ first team during his first two seasons at Elland Road, when in both seasons he finished runner-up to the ace striker Billy McLeod in the Leeds goal scoring charts.

He was capped for Ireland in a 4-1 defeat by Scotland at Windsor Park, Belfast on 16th March 1912, his only international appearance. However after Herbert Chapman took over as Leeds City manager in 1912 he lost his place at the start of 1912-13 and became a fringe player, signing for Southern League Newport County for £150 in October 1913 after 23 goals in 80 appearances for Leeds. After  playing the remainder of the season for The Ironsides, he joined Coventry City in the 1914 close season, reuniting him with Scott-Walford who had been appointed manager, where he scored 9 goals in 22 appearances before the onset of the First World War forced the abandonment of peacetime football at the end of the season. Enright scored four times in City’s 10-1 drubbing of his former club Newport in November of that year.

During the War Enright served with the Army in the Royal Army Ordinance Corp until 1919, playing Army football and also regularly guesting with his hometown club, Athlone Town, and continued to play for them after the War’s end until his retirement.

As of March 2014, his great nephew Chris Enright was on the staff at Athlone Town.


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