An excerpt from the June 4, 2018 The Irish Times article, From Ballymurphy to Brazil: The remarkable footballing odyssey of Belfast boy Brian Quinn...
Jack Charlton's boys in green may have captured the public imagination at the World Cup in 1994, but there was so nearly another Irishman strutting his stuff on the greatest stage of all. Neil Loughran met up with Brian Quinn to look back at a remarkable footballing odyssey that took him from the streets of Belfast to Brazil and beyond...
JUNE 1, 1991. Thirteen years earlier Brian Quinn had been lining out for O’Donovan Rossa’s senior hurlers. His late father Seamus ‘Nipper’ Quinn was involved in Antrim’s famous run to the 1943 All-Ireland final, and a fair chunk of his childhood was spent with hurl in hand.
June 1, 1991. Twelve years earlier Brian Quinn was part of the Larne side that lost out to Cliftonville for an Irish Cup final spot.
A few months later he was packing his bags for Merseyside, turning his back on teacher training college following an offer from Everton that he simply couldn’t refuse.
June 1, 1991. Ten years earlier - on the move again. Everton was great but he didn’t get a look in. One day the phone rings. It’s Brian Halliday, his old mentor at Larne, with a proposition that would turn his world upside down.
“How do you fancy coming out to Los Angeles and playing here?”
Only 21, his career was just opening out. Plenty before had gone back to the drawing board and come again. There was no shortage of English clubs interested in securing his services.
Glentoran boss Ronnie McFall wanted to take him back to Belfast. That would have been the easy option.
But he trusted Halliday implicitly.
“Where do I sign?”