James McKean Player Profile

Player Details

  • Full Name: James McKean
  • Born: June 27th, 1906 (Belfast)
  • Died: May 22nd, 1975 (Belfast)
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Signed: May 1st, 1930
  • First Manager: Selection Committee
  • Left Club: July 4th, 1931
  • Career Totals: 21 appearances
  • Also Played For: Dundela, Larne


Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1930-1931 18 0 0 0 27.8% 27.8% 44.4%
1929-1930 3 0 0 0 33.3% 0.0% 66.7%
Totals: 21 (0) 0


 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 Cln = Clean Sheets | 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
 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
 14/02/31 vs. Derry City (A) 1 - 5
 11/02/31 vs. Cliftonville (H) 4 - 2

 Recent First Team Goals
 None

 List of Goals Scored
None

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 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
 14/02/31 vs. Derry City (A)  1 - 5
 11/02/31 vs. Cliftonville (H)  4 - 2
 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
 17/01/31 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  0 - 4
 14/01/31 Quarter final replay vs. Bangor (H)  2 - 0
 10/01/31 Quarter final vs. Bangor (A)  2 - 2
 20/12/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  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


Biography

Goalkeeper James McKean was plucked from obscurity to eventually would feature in an Irish Cup during his short stint at the Showgrounds in the 1930’s.

Born and raised in the Shankill Road area of Belfast, James rose to prominence in football late, as his first noted club was Dundela in the 1929/1930 season. After biding his time for much of the season he was jettisoned into the starting eleven for the Intermediate League side after the turn of the year and never looked back.

The 23-year-old’s performances at Wilgar Park caught the attention of Ballymena selectors, who drafted McKeen in for the final two games of the season in May 1930, following the beginning of a contractual dispute with regular custodian John Gough. Despite City Cup defeats to Larne and Bangor, James particularly impressed in a post-season friendly victory over Bohemians in Dublin.

This merited a permanent move to the Showgrounds ahead of the 1930/1931 campaign, but he would have to fight it out with recruit William Black who also signed from Linfield. In a season in which Ballymena tried five different goalkeepers, Black was favoured for much of the first half of the season, but from January 1931 onwards, McKeen cemented his place between the sticks as Ballymena made it all the way to the final of the Irish Cup for the third consecutive time in their three year history.

McKean’s final was an anti-climax, as Ballymena lost 3-0 to Linfield at the Oval in front of over 20,000 fans. It would be the goalkeeper’s penultimate appearance for the club, as he would be released come the summer of 1931, with Scottish stopper James King earmarked as the club’s preferred goalkeeper for the coming season. James made a total of 21 appearances, keeping two clean sheets for Ballymena.

In July 1931, he joined Larne and played out what would be his final senior season with the Invermen as they finished eleventh in the Irish League. His younger brother would eventually follow in James’ footsteps a few years later playing in goal for Distillery in the Irish League, but James’ career was quickly over before it ever got going in his mid-twenties.

James McKeen passed away in May 1975 in Belfast, aged 68.

Career
Dundela; (May 1930) Ballymena; (Jul 1931) Larne

Honours
(with Ballymena)
Irish Cup: (finalist) 1930/1931

Last updated: 20 November 2023



Debut

May 3rd, 1930
Larne 2 - 1 Ballymena United

City Cup


Timeline

    Incorrect DATE value: '0000-00-00'