Bernard Donaghey

Born: Londonderry, 23 December 1882

Died: France, 1 July 1916

Burnley career:

5 appearances, 2 goals

Position: Inside forward

Bernard Donaghey, known to his family and friends as Barney, played his early football in Ireland with Derry Celtic and Belfast Celtic.

In February 1902, aged just 19, he was selected to represent the Irish Football League against the Scottish League at Dens Park, Dundee. In August that year he was chosen for Ireland’s full international side against Scotland for a special match in aid of the Ibrox Disaster Fund, set up after the tragedy at Ibrox Park in April 1902. It was held at the Balmoral Showground in Belfast and resulted in a 3-0 win for the Scots.

Following a short spell with Glentoran, in 1904 Barney crossed the water to Scotland and joined Hibernian, spending the 1904-05 season at Easter Road.

After returning to Derry he was selected for the Irish League again, against the Football League in Manchester in October 1905, and immediately signed for Manchester United. He later returned to Derry before joining Burnley in the summer of 1907.

As at Manchester United Barney found it difficult to break into Burnley’s Second Division side. When he did eventually pull on a first team shirt he made five Football League appearances at inside forward, scoring twice, both goals coming in a 4-1 win against Leicester Fosse at Turf Moor. They were his only goals in senior English football, sadly he was never another chance at first team level and was released at the end of the season.

He was back in Derry once again at the time of the outbreak of the Great War and he joined the Army, enlisting in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Barney Donaghey was amongst many thousands of soldiers who were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. His body was never found and he is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial.

Private Bernard Donaghey

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Killed in action France, 1 July 1916

Remembered at the Thiepval Memorial, France

His war is over, his sun is set, 
But those who loved him, will never forget. 

Acknowledgements and thanks for additional research are due to the following: 
Ray Simpson,
Peter Briggs, 
Mike Smith,