William Girvan Player Profile

Player Details

  • Full Name: William Robert 'Touch' Girvan
  • Born: November 1st, 1909 (Larne)
  • Died: November 3rd, 1989 (Somerset)
  • Position: Outside forward
  • Signed: May 3rd, 1929
  • First Manager: Selection Committee
  • Left Club: May 31st, 1930
  • Career Totals: 11 appearances, 2 goals
  • Also Played For: Larne, Newington Rangers

Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1929-1930 8 1 0 0 37.5% 25.0% 37.5%
1928-1929 3 1 0 0 66.7% 0.0% 33.3%
Totals: 11 (0) 2

 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
 01/02/30 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A) 1 - 3
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A) 2 - 1
 28/09/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A) 2 - 0
 14/09/29 Irish League vs. Ards (A) 2 - 0
 07/09/29 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H) 1 - 1

 Recent First Team Goals
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A) 2 - 1
 15/05/29 vs. Glenavon (H) 4 - 1

 List of Goals Scored (click to expand)
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 1
 15/05/29 vs. Glenavon (H)  4 - 1

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 01/02/30 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 3
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 1
 28/09/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  2 - 0
 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
 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


Winger William ‘Touch’ Girvan debuted for the Sky Blues as a teenager at the end of the club’s debut season but failed to make an impact at the Showgrounds.

Born and bred in Larne, it was natural that the talented teenager would break through at his hometown club in the 1926/1927 season, impressing in the Invermen’s Olympic (Reserve) team as they reached the semi-finals of the Steel and Sons Cup at the age of just 17 alongside future Ballymena team-mate Hoody McCambridge.

In March 1928, he moved across town to top Intermediate club Newington Rangers, finding form on the wing in the 1928/1929 season as the club were beaten finalists in both the McElroy Cup and the Clements Lyttle Cup. His performances caught the eye over Shane’s Hill, as the new Ballymena FC team that had just won the Irish Cup took Girvan on trial in May 1929 for the remainder of the season.

William made his debut against Bangor in an 8-2 victory at the Showgrounds in the City Cup and played two further games as the Sky Blues finished runners-up in the competition. Girvan even managed to score his first senior goal in the final game of the historic 1928/1929 campaign against Glenavon and was immortalised in the official team photo of the Irish Cup win, despite only playing three times.

The club moved to retain Girvan for the 1929/1930, but the winger found game time hard to come in a talented forward line by as the Ballymena club continued to impress within the Irish League. He only managed eight senior appearances and scoring one goal – a late winner away to Glentoran in November, but it wasn’t even enough to retain a place in the starting eleven for the following game!

20-year-old Girvan left the club at the summer of 1930 and returned to Newington Rangers after just 11 appearances and two goals, and hit the ground running as he was Rangers’ top goalscorer in the 1930/1931 campaign, as the East Antrim side won the McElroy Cup that same season. ‘Touch’ was also a key part of the team in the following season, when Newington finished runners-up in the Intermediate League and beaten finalists in the Clements Lyttle Cup again.

In December 1932, Girvan was given another shot at senior football with his native Larne and had a solid start to life back in the top flight – with three goals in his first eleven games. However, despite remaining at the club throughout the next few seasons injury would disrupt his form over coming years as he would find himself more regularly featuring for the Olympic side before fading out of football by the mid-1935’s.

William Girvan passed away in November 1989 in Somerset, aged 80.

(Oct 1926) Larne Olympic; (Mar 1928) Newington Rangers; (May 1929) Ballymena; (1930) Newington Rangers; (Dec 1932) Larne

(with Ballymena)
McElroy Cup: (winner) 1930/1931; (finalist) 1928/1929
Intermediate League: (runner-up) 1931/1932
Clements Lyttle Cup: (finalist) 1928/1929, 1931/1932

Last updated: 24 April 2023


May 4th, 1929
Bangor 2 - 8 Ballymena United

City Cup


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