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One of Northern Ireland greatest footballers, Jimmy McIlroy achieved legendry status at Burnley when he captained them to the League Championship in 1960.
Born in Lambeg on October 25 1931, McIlroy never had any doubts about his choice of career. He was inspired by his father Harry, who played for Distillery, and his uncle Willie, who was a professional with Portadown.
As a junior he played for the Craigavad club near Bangor and was signed by Irish League club Glentoran in early 1949 aged 17. By the time he turned 18 a few months later he had already established himself in the Glentoran first team.
On March 15th 1950, Burnley manager Frank Hill saw him play a starring role in Glentoran's 4-1 away win over Distillery. He signed him for a fee of around £8000 and McIroy made his debut at Sunderland in October 1950.
Within a year, and still a teenager, he won his first cap for Northern Ireland against Scotland. Although the team lost 2-0, McIlroy's performance ensured he would become an international regular well into the next decade.
Meanwhile at Burnley his superb right-wing partnership with Billy Gray made him one of the hottest properties in English football, resulting in his selection for a Great Britain side to play the Rest of Europe in August 1955.
McIlroy played a major role in Burnley's Championship winning side of 1959/60. His partnership with Jimmy Adamson was crucial to Burnley's success over the next three years during which they almost won the double in 1962. A loss of form near the end of the season cost them the championship and they lost to Tottenham in the FA Cup final.
The following season, Burnley fans were devastated when McIlroy was placed on the transfer list after scoring 131 goals in 497 appearances in the claret and blue.
He then joined Stanley Matthews at Stoke City, helping the Potters to the Second Division title in 1963 and the League Cup Final the following year. In 1966, he moved on to Oldham Athletic, where he finished his playing career and had a short spell as manager.
After a short stint back at Stoke, he then managed Bolton Wanderers for 18 days before resigning in 1970 after 'unwelcome interference in team selection'.
Following retirement, he worked for a time as a sports reporter for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph. His legendry status at Burnley is confirmed by the fact that he constantly tops the polls when fans vote for the club's greatest player.