McCandless Jack Image 1 Bradford Park Avenue 1921

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Description

Coleraine born winger Jack McCandless started with junior club Coleraine Alexandra signing for Irish League Belfast Celtic in February 1911, moving to Linfield in June the same year. The following March he joined Second Division Bradford Park Avenue making his Football League debut at Leicester Fosse at the end of the month.

He won his first Ireland cap against Wales in April 1912, scoring twice in a 3-2 win in Cardiff, winning his second cap playing against Wales again the following January in Belfast in a 1-0 defeat. At Bradford he scored 5 times in 1913-14 as they won promotion to The First Division as Second Division runners-up.

He played for four seasons either side of the First World War, during which he served in the Army and was gassed in the trenches, which affected him in later years. During the War he also guested for Hibernian and Linfield, and after resumption he was picked again for Ireland after a 7 year break, scoring against Wales in a 2-2 draw at The Oval, Belfast in February 1920 and winning 2 more caps later that year against Scotland and England. After losing his place in the Bradford line up from September 1922, having scored 23 goals in 201 appearances for Park Avenue, he briefly moved to Accrington Stanley in September 1923 playing twice that month for Stanley before returning to Ireland with Barn in January 1924.

McCandless then moved to Southern League Mid Rhondda United that summer before he took his first step into management with Ebbw Vale in October 1924. Later he was manager of hometown club Coleraine at the time of their first ever trophy win – the Gold Cup in 1931-32. He died in October 1940, not yet 50 years old, partly due to ill health caused from his War service.

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