McKinney Daniel Image 2 Belfast Celtic 1920

McKinney Daniel Image 2 Belfast Celtic 1920


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Belfast born winger Daniel McKinney joined Belfast Celtic from St Paul’s Swifts in 1919, where he was taken under the wing of Mickey Hamill who took a fatherly interest in him. Indeed, Hamill’s coaching and intuition are largely credited with McKinney’s rapid success. Slight of physique, but clever and assertive, Daniel McKinney was usually a winger but often slotted in as centre-forward when required. With Celtic McKinney played in two Irish Cup Finals, claiming a winner’s medal in 1918 when it took three matches to see off Linfield in the Final, and also a League title in 1920. In 1919 he earned inclusion in the Ireland side for the post-War Victory internationals, playing as inside-right and outside-right in a 2-1 defeat and 0-0 draw with Scotland in March and April 1919 respectively.

In 1920 McKinney signed for Hull City following Celtic’s withdrawal from the Irish League, making his Football League debut against Rotherham County in October 1920. He spent three seasons with Hull, all in the Second Division, scoring 12 goals in 60 appearances. It was during his time at Anlaby Road that he was awarded his first cap, as centre-forward in a 2-0 defeat by Scotland in February 1921. McKinney was transferred to another Division Two Yorkshire based club, the struggling Bradford City, in July 1923. It was during his season at Valley Parade that McKinney won his second cap in March 1924, again against Scotland, in his favoured outside-right role. His clever wing-play brought no reward as the Scots won the match, played in a piercing cold wind at Parkhead, 2-0.

Having fallen out of the first team reckoning at Bradford City having scored only once in 32 games, McKinney moved to Norwich City in October 1924. He spent a little under two years at The Nest, playing entirely in Division Three (South) as the club struggled to adapt to life in the Football League, scoring 4 goals in 52 games. In 1927 McKinney returned to Ireland where he played in Bangor’s first season as an Irish League club. In September 1927 he represented the Irish League in a 9-1 defeat by the Football League at St James’ Park, Newcastle. At Bangor McKinney was joined by his brothers Jack (who had been with Dundalk) and Malachy (ex-Fordsons).

NB in the photograph although published once he had joined Hull City, he wears a Belfast Celtic shirt.

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