John McCunnie

Fusilier John McCunnie was a promising young footballer on the left-wing with Glenavon F.C. before his untimely death during the Belfast Blitz on 5th May 1941.


John McCunnie


Fusilier John McCunnie (1500864) served in 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Second World War. He was born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and was a promising footballer at junior level in his home country before enlisting in the British Army's Royal Artillery.

During his time with 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, McCunnie came to Northern Ireland. The enterprising and talented outside-left found himself on the books at Glenavon Football Club in Lurgan, Co. Armagh. Along with another Scottish forward named Duffy, McCunnie looked to be a great addition to Andy Wylie’s team.

Death in Belfast

Fusilier McCunnie died on 5th May 1941 aged 22 years old. His place of death was No. 24 (London) General Hospital at Campbell College, Belfast. The military hospital sustained heavy damage during the Fire Raid of the Belfast Blitz. Jonny was undergoing treatment for a broken ankle at the time of the attack. The injury occurred on Saturday 3rd May 1941 during a close game that saw Derry City defeat The Glens in Lurgan by four goals to three.

All football followers will regret the passing of John McCunnie, the Glenavon outside left, he having been a victim of enemy action. A very neat little player, he was a real gentleman both on the field and off, and his death caused much concern in Lurgan.

Fusilier McCunnie has no known grave and his name is on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Brookwood 1939-1945 Memorial, Surrey, England.

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