Fordsons F.C.

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Fordsons Football Club is a former Irish football club based in Cork. They played in the League of Ireland between 1924 and 1930. The club was originally the factory team of the Ford Motor Company, a major employer in the city at that time and was named after the Fordson tractor, resulting in the nickname The Tractors. The team was based in the Ballinlough/Ballintemple area of the city and played at Ballinlough Road, now the site of Pic Du Jer housing estate. In 1930 Ford ended it’s association with the club and they were reformed as Cork. They continued to play under several different names including Cork City, Cork United and Cork Athletic until the 1950s [1].


In 1924 Fordsons were runners-up in the FAI Cup, losing 1-0 to Athlone Town. Later that year, they were admitted to the League of Ireland, replacing Midland Athletic. As a result they became the first ever club from Cork to play in the league. In 1926 they reached their second FAI Cup final. Fordsons twice came from behind before beating Shamrock Rovers 3-2. Goals from Dave Roberts and Paddy Barry kept Fordsons in the game and with the scores level at 2-2, Rovers were awarded a penalty. Bob Fullam's effort was blocked by goalkeeper Bill O'Hagan but as the two players then scrambled for the ball, Fullam withdrew from the challenge to avoid causing O'Hagan serious injury. Paddy Barry then went onto score the winner for Fordsons. [2]. Another highlight of Fordsons short history came during the 1927-28 season when Charlie Heinemann finished as top scorer in the league with 24 goals [3]. Fordsons also won the Munster Senior Cup four times, in 1930 winning it with a reserve team [4].

Several Fordsons players also played for both the League of Ireland XI and the Irish Free State national football team. On February 23 1924 Bill O'Hagan kept goal for a League of Ireland XI in 3-0 defeat against Celtic. In March 1925 Paddy Kelly also played in a 2-1 defeat against a Welsh League XI. Both O'Hagan and Kelly had also played for the Ireland team selected by the Irish Football Association before joining Fordsons [5][6]. In November 1925 Frank Brady, the great-uncle of Liam Brady, also played in a 2-2 against a Welsh League XI. In March 1926 Brady played for both the League of Ireland XI and the Irish Free State. He helped the League defeat an Irish League XI 3-1 [7] before, together with James Connelly, he played against Italy [8]. In 1927 Brady also captained the Irish Free State against an Italy B team [9]. In 1928 when the Irish Free State beat Belgium 4-2 in an away game, the team featured three Fordsons players - Paddy Barry, Charlie Dowdall and Jack Sullivan. The latter scored the last goal with a penalty in the 79th minute [10]. This was the first penalty to be scored at international level by an Irish player. Barry and Dowdall, then playing with Barnsley, also played against Belgium in 1929 [11] while Frank McLaughlin played against the same team in 1930 [12]. Formers Fordsons players Owen Kinsella and Mick McCarthy were both capped by the Irish Free State after leaving the club.

Notable Former Players

  • Flag of Ireland Paddy Barry
  • Flag of Ireland Frank Brady
  • Flag of Ireland James Connelly
  • Flag of Ireland Charlie Dowdall
  • Flag of Ireland Owen Kinsella
  • Flag of Ireland Mick McCarthy
  • Flag of Ireland Frank McLaughlin
  • Flag of Ireland Jack O'Sullivan
  • Flag of Ireland Harry Buckle
  • Flag of Ireland Paddy Kelly
  • Flag of Ireland Bill O'Hagan
  • Flag of England Dave Roberts
  • Flag of ? Charlie Heinemann


  • FAI Cup
    • Winners 1926: 1
    • Runners Up 1924: 1
  • Munster Senior Cup
    • Winners 1922-23, 1923-24, 1925-26, 1928-29, 1929-30: 5

Season Placings

Season Position
1929-30 4th
1928-29 7th
1927-28 4th
1926-27 4th
1925-26 3rd
1924-25 4th

See also

  • Football League of Ireland in Cork city