John McNinch Player Profile

Player Details

  • Full Name: John 'Jock' McNinch
  • Born: August 26th, 1903 (Ballymena)
  • Died: May 24th, 1970 (Ballymena)
  • Position: Full back
  • Signed: June 2nd, 1928
  • First Manager: Selection Committee
  • Left Club: August 15th, 1936
  • Career Totals: 316 appearances, 17 goals
  • Also Played For: Larne, Sligo Rovers, Southend Rangers, Summerfield


Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1935-1936 35 1 0 0 25.7% 20.0% 54.3%
1934-1935 43 4 0 0 32.6% 16.3% 51.2%
1933-1934 34 0 0 0 35.3% 23.5% 41.2%
1932-1933 41 3 0 0 39.0% 12.2% 48.8%
1931-1932 46 7 0 0 50.0% 15.2% 34.8%
1930-1931 41 1 0 0 46.3% 24.4% 29.3%
1929-1930 35 0 0 1 37.1% 14.3% 48.6%
1928-1929 41 1 0 0 48.8% 22.0% 29.3%
Totals: 316 (0) 17


 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals

 Recent First Team Starts
 25/04/36 vs. Portadown (A) 0 - 2
 13/04/36 vs. Bangor (A) 1 - 2
 11/04/36 vs. Newry (H) 2 - 2
 28/03/36 vs. Glentoran (A) 0 - 4
 25/03/36 vs. Linfield (H) 3 - 0

 Recent First Team Goals
 26/12/35 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A) 4 - 5
 23/02/35 Quarter final vs. Distillery (A) 3 - 2
 16/02/35 vs. Bangor (H) 2 - 2
 19/01/35 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (A) 1 - 0
 01/12/34 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H) 5 - 1

 List of Goals Scored (click to expand)
 26/12/35 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  4 - 5
 23/02/35 Quarter final vs. Distillery (A)  3 - 2
 16/02/35 vs. Bangor (H)  2 - 2
 19/01/35 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (A)  1 - 0
 01/12/34 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 1
 05/11/32 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 1
 10/09/32 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  4 - 0
 07/09/32 Quarter final vs. Larne (H)  5 - 1
 05/03/32 vs. Coleraine (H)  4 - 0
 16/01/32 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  4 - 1
 13/01/32 Quarter final - replay vs. Glentoran (A)  1 - 3
 31/10/31 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  1 - 2
 24/10/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 4
 10/10/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  4 - 0
 29/08/31 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  3 - 5
 27/09/30 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 2
 05/01/29 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 2

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 25/04/36 vs. Portadown (A)  0 - 2
 13/04/36 vs. Bangor (A)  1 - 2
 11/04/36 vs. Newry (H)  2 - 2
 28/03/36 vs. Glentoran (A)  0 - 4
 25/03/36 vs. Linfield (H)  3 - 0
 14/03/36 vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 2
 07/03/36 vs. Distillery (H)  2 - 4
 29/02/36 vs. Cliftonville (A)  2 - 2
 22/02/36 vs. Coleraine (H)  1 - 1
 15/02/36 vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 6
 08/02/36 vs. Glenavon (H)  0 - 1
 18/01/36 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 4
 11/01/36 Round 1 vs. Portadown (A)  1 - 3
 28/12/35 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  1 - 1
 26/12/35 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  4 - 5
 07/12/35 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  2 - 2
 30/11/35 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  0 - 1
 23/11/35 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  2 - 3
 16/11/35 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  0 - 2
 09/11/35 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  1 - 3
 06/11/35 Semi final vs. Distillery (N)  1 - 2
 02/11/35 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  2 - 1
 26/10/35 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 2
 12/10/35 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  1 - 0
 05/10/35 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  5 - 1
 28/09/35 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 1
 21/09/35 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  2 - 3
 18/09/35 Quarter final vs. Glentoran (H)  3 - 2
 14/09/35 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  1 - 8
 07/09/35 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  4 - 3
 04/09/35 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (A)  4 - 2
 31/08/35 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 1
 24/08/35 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  1 - 0
 20/08/35 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  1 - 5
 17/08/35 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 3
 27/04/35 vs. Cliftonville (A)  2 - 0
 23/04/35 vs. Glenavon (H)  2 - 1
 22/04/35 vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 3
 20/04/35 vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 0
 13/04/35 vs. Ards (H)  3 - 0
 30/03/35 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 2
 21/03/35 vs. Portadown (A)  1 - 1
 16/03/35 Semi final vs. Glentoran (N)  0 - 3
 09/03/35 vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 3
 06/03/35 Semi final vs. Linfield (N)  0 - 4
 02/03/35 vs. Larne (A)  0 - 2
 27/02/35 vs. Derry City (A)  1 - 7
 23/02/35 Quarter final vs. Distillery (A)  3 - 2
 16/02/35 vs. Bangor (H)  2 - 2
 12/02/35 Quarter final vs. Larne (H)  4 - 2
 09/02/35 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  0 - 5
 26/01/35 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  0 - 3
 19/01/35 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (A)  1 - 0
 12/01/35 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  0 - 4
 05/01/35 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  1 - 3
 29/12/34 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  3 - 7
 26/12/34 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  5 - 1
 25/12/34 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 3
 22/12/34 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  5 - 2
 15/12/34 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 6
 08/12/34 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  4 - 4
 01/12/34 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 1
 24/11/34 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 2
 17/11/34 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  0 - 3
 10/11/34 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  5 - 1
 03/11/34 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  0 - 3
 27/10/34 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  1 - 1
 13/10/34 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  2 - 0
 06/10/34 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  0 - 2
 29/09/34 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  2 - 2
 22/09/34 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 4
 15/09/34 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  0 - 2
 08/09/34 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  1 - 3
 01/09/34 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  4 - 1
 29/08/34 Round 1 vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 4
 25/08/34 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 1
 22/08/34 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  3 - 1
 18/08/34 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  1 - 1
 07/04/34 vs. Bangor (A)  1 - 4
 03/04/34 vs. Portadown (H)  0 - 0
 02/04/34 vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 5
 24/03/34 vs. Larne (A)  1 - 2
 17/03/34 vs. Newry (H)  5 - 1
 12/03/34 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 6
 24/02/34 vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 5
 17/02/34 vs. Coleraine (H)  3 - 3
 14/02/34 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  2 - 7
 10/02/34 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  1 - 4
 27/01/34 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  1 - 2
 20/01/34 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  2 - 3
 13/01/34 Round 1 vs. Glenavon (A)  3 - 1
 26/12/33 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  1 - 4
 25/12/33 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  0 - 1
 23/12/33 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 2
 16/12/33 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  0 - 0
 09/12/33 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 4
 02/12/33 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 0
 25/11/33 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  7 - 0
 18/11/33 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  3 - 3
 11/11/33 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  1 - 1
 28/10/33 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  2 - 2
 21/10/33 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  2 - 1
 19/10/33 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  3 - 2
 11/10/33 Quarter final vs. Glentoran (H)  1 - 2
 07/10/33 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  2 - 1
 23/09/33 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  3 - 0
 16/09/33 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  1 - 0
 13/09/33 Round 1 - replay vs. Larne (H)  3 - 0
 09/09/33 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  0 - 1
 05/09/33 Round 1 vs. Larne (A)  1 - 1
 02/09/33 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  4 - 2
 21/08/33 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  2 - 2
 29/04/33 vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 4
 22/04/33 vs. Bangor (H)  2 - 3
 18/04/33 vs. Larne (A)  1 - 3
 17/04/33 vs. Glenavon (A)  2 - 1
 15/04/33 vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 4
 01/04/33 vs. Newry (H)  1 - 0
 25/03/33 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 1
 20/03/33 vs. Glentoran (A)  0 - 4
 18/03/33 vs. Ards (H)  1 - 1
 04/03/33 vs. Portadown (A)  1 - 1
 02/03/33 Quarter final vs. Ards (A)  0 - 1
 25/02/33 vs. Coleraine (H)  3 - 1
 22/02/33 vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 0
 18/02/33 vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 2
 31/01/33 Round 1 vs. Larne (A)  5 - 1
 28/01/33 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 7
 21/01/33 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 3
 14/01/33 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 4
 07/01/33 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  4 - 1
 31/12/32 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  3 - 1
 27/12/32 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 2
 26/12/32 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  0 - 1
 10/12/32 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 0
 03/12/32 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  2 - 1
 19/11/32 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  2 - 1
 16/11/32 Semi final - replay vs. Linfield (N)  1 - 2
 12/11/32 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  1 - 6
 09/11/32 Semi final vs. Linfield (N)  2 - 2
 05/11/32 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 1
 29/10/32 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  3 - 5
 26/10/32 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  5 - 1
 22/10/32 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 1
 15/10/32 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  1 - 3
 08/10/32 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 2
 24/09/32 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 1
 10/09/32 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  4 - 0
 07/09/32 Quarter final vs. Larne (H)  5 - 1
 03/09/32 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  3 - 1
 27/08/32 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  0 - 3
 24/08/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 3
 20/08/32 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  5 - 3
 07/05/32 vs. Portadown (A)  3 - 2
 30/04/32 vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 4
 23/04/32 vs. Newry (H)  3 - 0
 16/04/32 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 4
 09/04/32 vs. Ards (H)  4 - 1
 02/04/32 vs. Cliftonville (A)  3 - 2
 29/03/32 vs. Derry City (H)  2 - 2
 28/03/32 vs. Glenavon (A)  3 - 1
 19/03/32 vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 12/03/32 vs. Glentoran (A)  3 - 2
 05/03/32 vs. Coleraine (H)  4 - 0
 02/03/32 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 0
 27/02/32 vs. Bangor (A)  0 - 2
 24/02/32 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  0 - 2
 20/02/32 vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  1 - 2
 13/02/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  5 - 0
 06/02/32 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  0 - 2
 30/01/32 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  6 - 0
 27/01/32 Round 1 vs. Brantwood (H)  4 - 1
 23/01/32 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  3 - 2
 21/01/32 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 4
 16/01/32 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  4 - 1
 13/01/32 Quarter final - replay vs. Glentoran (A)  1 - 3
 09/01/32 Quarter final vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 2
 02/01/32 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  6 - 2
 29/12/31 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  1 - 1
 25/12/31 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 0
 19/12/31 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  1 - 1
 12/12/31 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  2 - 3
 09/12/31 Final vs. Coleraine (N)  0 - 3
 28/11/31 Round 1 vs. Distillery (H)  3 - 1
 21/11/31 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  2 - 2
 14/11/31 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  0 - 3
 07/11/31 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 0
 31/10/31 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  1 - 2
 24/10/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 4
 21/10/31 Semi final vs. Linfield (N)  3 - 0
 10/10/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  4 - 0
 26/09/31 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  1 - 1
 16/09/31 Quarter final vs. Ards (H)  3 - 1
 12/09/31 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 2
 05/09/31 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  0 - 3
 02/09/31 Round 1 vs. Distillery (H)  1 - 0
 29/08/31 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  3 - 5
 22/08/31 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  0 - 1
 20/08/31 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  0 - 0
 02/05/31 vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 1
 25/04/31 vs. Larne (A)  4 - 3
 18/04/31 vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 1
 11/04/31 vs. Coleraine (A)  3 - 2
 07/04/31 vs. Glentoran (H)  1 - 5
 06/04/31 vs. Newry (A)  0 - 1
 04/04/31 vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 4
 28/03/31 Final vs. Linfield (N)  0 - 3
 21/03/31 vs. Ards (A)  3 - 3
 14/03/31 vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 4
 07/03/31 vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 2
 28/02/31 vs. Portadown (H)  4 - 4
 07/02/31 Semi final vs. Derry City (N)  2 - 1
 02/02/31 Round 1 replay vs. Ards (A)  1 - 4
 31/01/31 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  1 - 4
 28/01/31 Round 1 vs. Ards (H)  1 - 1
 24/01/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 4
 21/01/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  6 - 1
 14/01/31 Quarter final replay vs. Bangor (H)  2 - 0
 10/01/31 Quarter final vs. Bangor (A)  2 - 2
 03/01/31 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  2 - 1
 27/12/30 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  6 - 1
 26/12/30 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  1 - 2
 25/12/30 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  5 - 1
 20/12/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 2
 06/12/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  2 - 3
 29/11/30 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 1
 22/11/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 1
 19/11/30 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 2
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  4 - 1
 01/11/30 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  6 - 2
 25/10/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 18/10/30 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 1
 11/10/30 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 1
 04/10/30 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  1 - 0
 27/09/30 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 2
 17/09/30 Quarter final vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 5
 13/09/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 4
 06/09/30 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  7 - 1
 03/09/30 Round 1 vs. Newry (H)  7 - 0
 30/08/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 1
 14/05/30 vs. Distillery (A)  3 - 2
 10/05/30 vs. Bangor (H)  0 - 2
 03/05/30 vs. Larne (A)  1 - 2
 26/04/30 vs. Glentoran (A)  4 - 4
 22/04/30 vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 2
 21/04/30 vs. Glenavon (H)  1 - 3
 19/04/30 vs. Newry (A)  2 - 1
 12/04/30 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  3 - 0
 05/04/30 vs. Ards (A)  0 - 2
 29/03/30 Final vs. Linfield (N)  3 - 4
 15/03/30 vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 2
 01/02/30 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 3
 29/01/30 Round 1 vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 5
 25/01/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  6 - 3
 22/01/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 18/01/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 2
 11/01/30 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 2
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 25/12/29 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  1 - 3
 21/12/29 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 4
 14/12/29 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 0
 07/12/29 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  3 - 0
 30/11/29 Round 1 vs. Derry City (A)  4 - 1
 23/11/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  3 - 5
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 1
 09/11/29 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  4 - 0
 02/11/29 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 3
 26/10/29 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  0 - 1
 21/09/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  1 - 4
 14/09/29 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  2 - 0
 07/09/29 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 1
 04/09/29 Round 1 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  0 - 3
 31/08/29 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  1 - 1
 24/08/29 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  0 - 2
 21/08/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  2 - 2
 15/05/29 vs. Glenavon (H)  4 - 1
 11/05/29 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 3
 04/05/29 vs. Bangor (H)  8 - 2
 01/04/29 vs. Larne (H)  5 - 1
 30/03/29 Final vs. Belfast Celtic (N)  2 - 1
 23/03/29 vs. Coleraine (A)  2 - 0
 16/03/29 vs. Ards (H)  3 - 0
 02/03/29 vs. Portadown (A)  3 - 4
 25/02/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 6
 23/02/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  1 - 3
 20/02/29 Quarter final vs. Linfield (H)  1 - 2
 16/02/29 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  2 - 1
 09/02/29 Semi final vs. Coleraine (N)  3 - 0
 02/02/29 Irish League vs. Queens Island (H)  7 - 0
 26/01/29 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  0 - 1
 19/01/29 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  2 - 2
 12/01/29 Quarter final vs. Broadway United (H)  4 - 1
 05/01/29 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 2
 29/12/28 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 5
 26/12/28 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  3 - 0
 25/12/28 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  2 - 3
 22/12/28 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  4 - 2
 15/12/28 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  0 - 0
 08/12/28 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 0
 01/12/28 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 3
 28/11/28 Round 1 - Replay vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 1
 24/11/28 Round 1 vs. Glentoran (A)  3 - 3
 17/11/28 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  5 - 3
 10/11/28 Irish League vs. Queens Island (H)  7 - 3
 03/11/28 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  2 - 2
 27/10/28 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 1
 20/10/28 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  4 - 2
 13/10/28 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  2 - 2
 06/10/28 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  5 - 3
 29/09/28 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 2
 15/09/28 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  4 - 0
 08/09/28 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  2 - 1
 05/09/28 Round 1 vs. Ards (A)  0 - 2
 01/09/28 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  3 - 3
 25/08/28 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  2 - 2
 22/08/28 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  0 - 3


Biography

Legendary full-back Jock McNinch remains the club’s most capped international, an Irish Cup winner and one of the record appearance holders – one of the finest players to ever hail from Ballymena.

Born and raised on the Moat Road in Harryville, John began his path to international football in post-WW1 Ballymena in the more modest surroundings of the Alliance league with local club Southend Rangers. The teenage full-back spent three full seasons with the club after making his debut during the early stages of the 1923/1924 season.

Progression to the Intermediate League followed in the summer of 1926, as he made the move across town to sign for Summerfield, who had been promoted into the Intermediate League First Division.

Upon the announcement of a new senior football club competing in the Irish League from Ballymena, John McNinch was a natural first choice for one of the new club’s first signings, joining in June 1928. A few days shy of his 25th birthday, he made his senior debut in Ballymena’s first ever Irish League game, as Belfast Celtic came to the Showgrounds and win 3-0 in front of a huge crowd.

McNinch would play a big part in the early success of the ‘Ballymena Babes’, as they stunned many onlookers by winning the Irish Cup in their first season, defeating Belfast Celtic at Solitude to write their way into Irish sporting folklore. The Light Blues finished the 1928/1929 sixth in the Irish League and were also runners-up in the City Cup, as ‘Jock’ was a mainstay of the backline forming a formidable partnership with Gordon McDiarmid – playing 41 games and scoring his first senior goal against Bangor in January 1929.

Ballymena continued to improve the following season (1929/1930), as they finished fifth and reached the Irish Cup Final once again, but this time losing 4-3 to a Joe Bambrick inspired Linfield side at Celtic Park. The transfer to Ballymena of former Rangers veteran Billy McCandless in the summer of 1930 would have a hugely beneficial impact on McNinch, as the 27-year-old would subsequently enjoy his finest season at the Showgrounds during the 1930/1931 campaign. As McNinch surpassed 100 appearances in Light Blue, the club once again reached the Irish Cup final for a third consecutive year but lost agonisingly again to Linfield.

Recognition from the Irish Football Association’s international selectors would arrive in March 1931 and John would make an impressive bow for Ireland in a resolute 0-0 draw with Scotland at Windsor Park in front of 27,000 spectators. That performance quickly prompted tangible interest from representatives Liverpool and Preston North End, then both of the English top-flight, but advances were rejected by the Ballymena Committee.

Jock stayed loyal to the Braidmen, as many of his team-mates left for the lure of teams in the Free State League and by the start of the 1931/1932 campaign he was one of the few remaining men left from the inaugural season and Irish Cup winning side, with the club introducing an influx of Scottish talent to the panel – no fewer than eleven Scots featured during the campaign. Ballymena suffered another cup final disappointment, losing in the final of the Gold Cup to rivals Coleraine in December 1931, but it marked McNinch’s best ever goalscoring season – bagging an impressive seven goals

By the close of 1931, McNinch had won his final two full international caps for Ireland, the first against Scotland in a 3-1 defeat in September and the latter in a resounding 4-0 win over Wales in Belfast in the December. The three full international caps won by John McNinch remains a club record to this day, however he failed to add further appearances in the emerald green shirt owing to the form of Glasgow Celtic full-back Billy Cook. The same season, John made the first two of three appearances for the Irish League representative team against the English and Scottish Leagues, respectively.

The Scottish experiment at the Showgrounds was short-lived as Ballymena selectors reverted to a more local offering, and John was now one of the veterans of the panel going into his fifth season with the club. Ballymena battled to recreate the magic of their debut season, but with John now the sole survivor from that team it proved difficult as the club finished eighth in 1932/1933, their lowest league finish to date. However, he also became the first player from the club to accumulate a landmark 200 games during the season.

Disaster struck the Showgrounds towards the end of the 1933/1934 season, as the club were suspended by the Irish FA in April 1934 after allegations regarding payments amateur players. A dramatic summer ensued at the Braid club, which eventually ended with the liquidation of the club and the formation of a reincarnated Ballymena United FC to take it’s place in the league.

The uncertainty and negativity prompted a mass exodus from the playing staff as only four players signed on for the new look team ahead of the 1934/1935 Irish League season. This included loyal servant John McNinch who joined James King, John Williamson and Jock Wallace in throwing their lot in at the Showgrounds. Naturally, it proved to be a season of transition for United as they finished tenth in the league with player-manager Joe Miller at the helm but did reach the semi-final of the Irish Cup.

The 1935/1936 season would be Jock’s eighth and final season at the club, he became the first player to be granted a benefit (testimonial) match when the a local select side played out a 4-4 draw with Linfield in April 1936. His record of 316 appearances remained the benchmark for almost 25 years at the club before being broken in the 1950’s by Billy Cubitt.

Despite the benefit match, It had been fully expected that the 32-year-old would be retained as professional at Ballymena but he was handed his unceremoniously handed his release papers and in August 1936 he made the move to the League of Ireland to join a growing Ballymena contingent at Sligo Rovers. It proved an unsuccessful stint, as by the 1 October 1936 he had agreed his release by mutual consent with the club.

John returned closer to home and played out the remainder of the 1936/1937 season with Larne in the Irish League but then subsequently retired from football. His involvement in football didn’t come to an end, as he quickly took up the whistle and within two seasons he was running the line at Irish League games.

As the Second World War broke out, Jock became a seaman in the Royal Navy and then immigrated to Canada in the 1950s before returning back to the town, he remained a regular supporter of Ballymena United up until his passing in May 1970, aged 66.

Career
(1923) Southend Rangers; (Aug 1926) Summerfield; (Jun 1928) Ballymena; (Aug 1936) Sligo Rovers; (1936) Larne

Honours
(with Ballymena)
Irish Cup: (winner) 1928/1929; (finalist) 1929/1930, 1930/1931
City Cup: (runner-up) 1928/1929
Gold Cup: (finalist) 1930/1931

International Honours
Ireland (3 caps – 1931)
Irish League Representative (3 caps – 1931-1934)

Last updated: 12 November 2022



Debut

August 22nd, 1928
Belfast Celtic 3 - 0 Ballymena United

League (Irish League)


International Career (Northern Ireland)


Caps: 3

Goals: 0

International Debut: February 21st, 1931 v. Scotland

Ballymena's most capped International having won three caps as full-back for Ireland in 1931.


Timeline