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 Clogheen Soccer History Moulson         

Clogheen Man plays in Cup Semi Final at Old Trafford
By Ed O'Riordan  (Written for and published in Avondhu Newspaper 21/1/2010)

Only dedicated fans of soccer history would be familiar these days with the names of 1930's Irish Internationals George and Connie Moulson. The Moulson brothers also played soccer as professionals at club level in England. Their father, Charles - a decorated World War 1 hero - was for several years the postman in the village of Clogheen in County Tipperary. The 1911 Census of Ireland shows Charles E. Moulson and Bridget Moulson living at Barrack Hill, Clogheen with their children - seven year old Charles, six year old Mabel, four and a half years old Cornelius (Connie), and two year old William. Connie and his older brother and sister are listed as scholars. George Moulson was born in Clogheen some years after the census - in August 1914. 

Irish Soccer Internationals Con Moulson on left and his brother George on right. The Moulson Family lived at Barrack Hill, Clogheen, Co. Tipperary for over ten years up to 1915.

So, who were the Moulsons and what brought them to Clogheen? Charles Edmund Moulson, born at North Road, Wolverhampton in July 1876, was a soldier in the British Army towards the end of the nineteenth century. He was initially stationed in Kildare; a church record shows him to be there in 1897. Then, in 1899, while still in the army, he married Bridget Dahill, daughter of Cornelius Dahill of Sporaglea, Fethard. 

Clogheen Postman
Within a few years, Charles had left the army and he and Bridget were living in Clogheen where he had obtained a position as postman. The post-office at the time was in the building which now forms part of Tom Sullivan's house next to Pat Callaghan's. The postmaster was Edmund Riordan, but the post office was run by his son, Dan. 

              1911 Census return for Moulson Family Clogheen.  Signed by Charles E Moulson.

It was in Clogheen that the first Moulson child, a son named Charles, was born in 1903. A sister for Charles Jun. was born the following year and named Mabel - after Charles Senior's sister. The next two children, Cornelius and William were born in Fethard, presumably at the Dahill home. It was not an uncommon practice at the time that a woman would move in with her mother for a few weeks before her baby was to be born. Charles would have stayed at the Moulson home in Clogheen continuing on in his job as postman and looking after the younger children.

Moulson Home on Barrack Hill
From the 1911 census of Ireland it is possible to glean a bit more information about the Moulson family. Charles, aged 34, and Bridget, aged 32, lived in a four roomed house in Clogheen village at the top of the Main Street, at Barrack Hill. The house had four windows at front, and it would appear that it was the third house on the right as one enters Clogheen from Ballyporeen. Their neighbours were the Doolans on one side and the Piddock family on the other side. Other nearby neighbours included Landers, Richardsons, Fitzgeralds, Roches and Scullys. Mary Jane Piddock was a widow and a dressmaker with three children at school. William and Bridget Doolan had seven children. One can imagine the Piddock, Doolan and Moulson children playing together outside their homes at Barrack Hill. Across the road was the Military Barracks but it no longer held any military personnel. It was occupied -in part - by a family named McWhirter. Charles Moulson recorded his religion as Church of Ireland and the same for his children. However, Bridget was Roman Catholic. It is possible that the Moulson children - described as 'scholars' attended the school at the back of St. Paul's Church. (It is worth recording that in a ceremony in County Kildare in the late 1890s, Charles E. Moulson converted to Catholicism. This may have been in order to marry his Catholic wife in 1899.)

Decorated War Hero
For over ten years, Charles Moulson and his family lived in Clogheen. Charles would have been well known to the residents of the village and the outlying areas where he delivered the post each day. Then, in 1914, came the war that was to engulf the world, and Charles E. Moulson, former soldier and now postman, wasted no time in re-entering the army. He went to Cahir to re-enlist. He was soon on active service in France with the 11th Hussars and the Life Guards, leaving his wife and five children back home in Clogheen. The terrible news that every soldier's family dreads came a few weeks before Christmas of that same year, Sergeant Charles Moulson had been killed in action in France. Two weeks earlier he had been involved in an action for which he was decorated for bravery. He received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for leading his men 'with great resolution and gallantry' after their officer had been killed. This medal has been likened to the Victoria Cross. 

Distinguished Conduct Medal as awarded to Charles E. Moulson in 1915. He died at Ypres in France. For ten years, Charles had been Clogheen's postman.

His name appears on the WW1  memorial in Cahir, Co. Tipperary

His name is recorded on the 'Menin Gate' Ypres memorial in Belgium. (The Tipperary War Dead, Tom Burnell, 2008)  His great sacrifice is also recorded on the World War 1 memorial in Cahir. It is possible that Charles Moulson never had the pleasure of holding his baby son George in his arms.

It is conjecture to assume that Bridget immediately went to live with her in-laws in Grimsby but she was certainly living in her husband's home town within a short time of his death.

Clogheen's Moulson Brothers 
The two younger Moulson boys grew up in Grimsby and both became professional footballers. Both men were over six feet tall. Connie played with Cleethorpes Town, Bristol City, Grimsby Town (The Mariners), Lincoln City (The Imps), and Nottingham County. George played in goal for Lincoln, Grimsby, and Peterborough. Remarkably, both brothers played for Ireland, George making three appearances in 1948, while Connie played five times for his country in 1936-37.


Peterborough F.C. 1950.  George Moulson 4th from left back row.


Connie also had a brief spell as manager in the 1960s when he was asked to take over as coach at Lincoln. Unfortunately, his time as coach wasn't very rewarding for the club and he returned to a job outside of football. However, Connie continued to maintain a connection with football and with Lincoln FC.

Clogheen and Old Trafford Record Attendance
The1939 FA Cup Semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) and Grimsby Town was played at Old Trafford - the home of Manchester United. This was an historic day in the history of Old Trafford, for on that day an attendance record of 76,962 was set that has never been equalled at the famous soccer stadium. On the day of the match, Grimsby's 'best ever goal-keeper' Tweedy had 'flu and was replaced by the reserve keeper, George Moulson. Unfortunately, during a Wolves attack on the Grimsby goal, Moulson commited himself to a save and received a kick in the head from Wolve's forward Dickie Dorsett which caused him to be taken to the local hospital for treatment. Under the 'no substitute rule' which then applied, one of the other Grimsby players had to don the goalkeeper's jersey and take up that position for the rest of the match. Wolves won the game 5 goals to nil. (Terrace Heroes, Graham Kelly). But the Old Trafford attendance record still holds, and Clogheen born George Bernard Moulson played an important part on that record setting day. Moulson was also part of another piece of soccer history that day at Old Trafford; that was the first time that the players all wore numbered jerseys. It was some time before this became an official requirement.
Both Con and George Moulson were always aware of their Clogheen connections, and both men declared Clogheen to be their birthplace when signing contracts. The brothers occasionally visited Fethard where they had cousins on their mother's side. Perhaps the Clogheen connection with the Moulson family and with soccer history will be acknowledged on a suitable plaque in the village in the near future.

Clogheen, Connie Moulson, George Moulson, Soccer History, Old Trafford, Attendance record,Grimsby F.C.


Keywords:         Soccer History Ireland  Moulson   Clogheen   Irish Soccer History  Distinguished Conduct Medal

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