Brendan McNally

Brendan McNally was born in Dublin on January 22nd, 1935 and first played football for the small local club, St. Finbourns. As a schoolboy he was selected to play for Ireland against England in a Schoolboy International, scoring one of Ireland's goals as they went down 3-2.

A right back, Brendan began his professional career in the Irish League with Shelbourne in 1954 he moved to England to play for Luton Town. There he stayed for nine years, making 134 appearances. Luton were then a First Division team (which today is called the Premier League) and in 1959 he was part of the Luton team that lost 2-1 to Nottingham Forest in the Final of the F.A. Cup. One of the Forest scorers that day was Roy Dwight, who was later carried off after breaking his leg in a tackle with Brendan. Roy, who died in 2003, was the cousin of the singer/songwriter Sir Elton John.

After a successful period in the First Division, Luton started to slip down the Football League, first into the Second Division and shortly before he joined Cambridge City in 1963 they were relegated into the Third Division.

A good strong defender, who rarely had a bad game, he was later made the captain of the Lilywhites setting a good example to the rest of the team. On one occasion, when everybody seemed to be missing penalties awarded to the Lilywhites, so in the game at Rugby Brendan decided to take the penalty himself. He duly ran up and slotted it home, gaining his side the valuable point.

He was capped by Ireland on 4 occasions, three of which were away from home. Those being in Prague, Reykjavik and at Hampdon Park.  

References:

Cambridge City programme v Bedford Town (October 23rd, 1965)