John O'Brien Player Profile

Player Details

  • Full Name: John O'Brien
  • Position: Full back
  • Signed: June 28th, 1929
  • First Manager: Selection Committee
  • Left Club: May 23rd, 1930
  • Career Totals: 1 appearance
  • Also Played For: Ballymoney, Revilos, Summerfield

Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1929-1930 1 0 0 0 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Totals: 1 (0) 0

 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
 19/02/30 Irish League vs. Bangor (A) 1 - 3

 Recent First Team Goals

 List of Goals Scored

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 19/02/30 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  1 - 3


One game wonder John O’Brien can consider himself unlucky to have only made one appearance in defence for Ballymena in 1930.

Born in Ballymoney, his first footballing introduction came with junior side Revilos, but a move to local club Ballymoney during the 1926/1927 sparked his first unfortunate career event, as he played for his new side in the Junior cup whilst cup-tied in a tie against Coleraine Olympic which led to Ballymoney being thrown out of the competition as a result.

Undeterred, the young full-back continued to impress and stepped up to top Intermediate side Summerfield in October 1927, who were then the main club in Ballymena prior to the formation of the senior club the following season. O’Brien eventually returned back to Ballymoney for the 1928/1929 campaign in a season in which he caught the eye of Ballymena’s scouts and selectors.

John signed for the Irish Cup holders in June 1929 as an amateur, following in the footsteps of top scorer Jamie Shiels who had made the same move just a year earlier to great success. O’Brien’s first game in a Ballymena shirt did not go well, as he was sent off for the Ballymena second team (in their first ever match) against Glentoran II in the Intermediate Cup.

Eventually his first start for the first team arrived by fortune of a suspension to Gordon McDairmid, as he started an Irish League game against Glenavon in January 1930, however more misfortune struck O’Brien as the game was abandoned early in the second half due to the weather conditions being so severe the referee collapsed during the game!

A second opportunity came the following month, when O’Brien was drafted back into the team for a midweek away game against Bangor, which the Light Blues lost 3-1. Forced to play out of position in midfield, Unfortunately, O’Brien’s performance did not impress selectors and it would prove to be his only senior appearance for the club.

John O’Brien left the club in May 1930, and was never heard from again, both on and off the pitch.

Rivelos; (1926) Ballymoney; (Oct 1927) Summerfield; (1928) Ballymoney; (Jun 1929) Ballymena

Last updated: 26 January 2024


February 19th, 1930
Bangor 3 - 1 Ballymena United

League (Irish League)


  • Signed For Ballymena United

  • Left Club