Regular readers of our Matchday Magazine will know all the facts and figures behind each new week at Cliftonville Football Club, while our Twitter followers are regaled with daily delves into the archives and, as Heritage Development Officer Paul Treanor notes, yesterday’s clash with Coleraine delivered another set of milestones.
As well as being the highest attended League Cup Final in history, the contest – which was played out in front of 11,103 spectators at Windsor Park – also delivered more goals than any other League Cup decider, with this weekend’s seven beating the five scored in the Reds’ defeat of Ballymena United back in 2015.
The 1775th win in Cliftonville history saw Paddy McLaughlin become just the sixth Manager to have led the Club to more than one trophy triumph, joining Hugh McAteer, Jackie Hutton, Marty Quinn, Eddie Patterson and Tommy Breslin in that illustrious category.
While Chris Curran and Levi Ives are the only players who featured both yesterday and in the Reds’ last League Cup triumph (a 3-0 defeat of Ards in February 2016), Joe Gormley – who, with eight goals, has netted more Cup Final strikes than any player in the Club’s history – is the sole survivor from the side that lifted the first of the four-in-a-row successes back in 2013… although, not that he’ll want to be reminded of it, Colin Coates did feature on the losing side in the first two of those Finals!
On a more upbeat note for the former Crusaders defender, Coates has now added a second League Cup medal to his collection a full 10 years after seeing off none other than Oran Kearney’s Coleraine in the 2012 decider.
He was one of 11 players (along with Luke McNicholas, Rory Hale, Paul O’Neill, Jamie McDonagh, Kris Lowe, Jonny Addis, Luke Turner, Cricky Gallagher, Daniel Kearns and Ruadhán McKenna) to win their first honour with Cliftonville this weekend, taking the overall tally of people who have won senior medals with the Club to 282.
O’Neill, meanwhile, marked his 50th appearance for the Club by becoming the 73rd player to score a Cup Final goal for the Reds and the 20th to have done so more than once.
Another man no stranger to a brace on such occasions is Gormley, who scored twice in a League Cup Final for the third time, following on from doubles against Crusaders in 2013 and Ballymena two years later.
Cliftonville’s sixth League Cup win came in the Club’s eighth appearance in the Final and, alongside the aforementioned 3-2 defeat of the Sky Blues in 2015, was the second to be achieved in extra-time and marked the Club’s 47th senior honour.
League Cup Final in numbers
11,103: The biggest ever attendance at a League Cup Final
1775: Yesterday’s victory was the 1775th win in Cliftonville history
282: Total amount of players through history to have won a senior honour with the Reds
73: Number of different players who have scored Cup Final goals for Cliftonville
50: Paul O’Neill and Daniel Kearns both made their 50th appearances for the Club
47: The victory was the Reds’ 47th senior trophy success
20: Paul O’Neill is the 20th player to have scored more than one Cup Final goal for Cliftonville
11: Number of players who won a trophy with the Reds for the first time
10: A decade has passed since Colin Coates’ first League Cup winners’ medal
8: No player has scored more Cup Final goals for Cliftonville than Joe Gormley
7: Seven goals made it the highest scoring League Cup Final in history
6: Paddy McLaughlin is just the sixth Manager to have guided the Reds to more than one trophy
3: Number of League Cup Finals in which Joe Gormley has scored twice
2: Chris Curran and Levi Ives are the sole survivors from the Club’s last League Cup success