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Quid pro quo

Today marks another notable anniversary for aficionados of all things Cliftonville, with 140 years having passed since the Club’s first ever match.

It was on September 27, 1879, that the Reds hosted a local rugby team by the name of Quidnuncs – who duly claimed a 2-1 win in their unfamiliar sport!

Just seven days on from the Club’s opening training session, a contemporary report noted that the game played on an almost waterlogged surface at Cliftonville Cricket Club – which was the Reds’ original home ground prior to moving to the adjacent Solitude in 1890 – “could not be considered a good exhibition of the association code” as players from both sides regularly fell foul of the handling law.

It was nevertheless an historic occasion in the history of Irish football, with Cliftonville going on to face Scottish team Caledonian and Glasgow before recording their first ever win when Knock (who were also founded by John McCredy McAlery) were beaten 2-0 on November 1 of the same year.