Willie Cotter: leading League of Ireland player in 40’s and 50’s

THE funeral took place yesterday of Willie Cotter, a former sports editor of the Cork Examiner, and a leading League of Ireland player in the 1940’s and 50’s who died over the weekend.

Willie had a hugely successful career in journalism and along with his editorial duties penned a very popular local soccer column under the pseudonym ‘Critic’.

Mr. Cotter, who was 86, played in the League with Cork United and Cork Athletic. He also played in the League with Waterford and Limerick and in the Irish League with Portadown in the course of a career in which he won all of the major honours in Irish football.

He played at Munster Senior League level with AOH and Freebooters and helped both teams reach the final of the FAI Intermediate Cup. He was on the losing side in both finals – Freeboters lost to St. Patrick’s Athletic in a replay in 1948/’49 and the AOH lost the 1957 final to Workmen’s Club.

He was a squad member of the Cork United team that won League of Ireland Championship titles in 1943 and 1944.

He won another League Championship with Cork Athletic in 1950 and completed a Cup and League double the following year.

He played a prominent role with Cork Athletic in a famous season in 1953 when former English international, Raich Carter, arrived to galvanise the League scene. Athletic won the FAI Cup that year when they defeated Evergreen United in the only all-Cork final in history.

Willie Cotter was honoured by the League of Ireland selectors on five occasions between 1952 and 1954. He was outstanding on the side which shocked the Hessian League in 1954.

Despite a hectic work schedule, Willie took the time to help those less fortunate than himself and served as a lifelong member of St. Vincent de Paul.

He is survived by his widow, Mary, their children Jerry, John, William, James, Madeline and Alice, and grand-children as well as his brothers James, Jerry and Sean and sister Kay.

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