|Date Of Birth:||1912|
|Place Of Birth:||Lisburn|
|Date Of Death:||1984|
|Debut:||31-Aug-41, Leinster Cup, (H) v. Bohemians|
Goal-keeper Gerry Matier made his early mark in the Intermediate League with Dunmurry. He had five first team games with Glentoran in the 1932-33 season before moving to Coleraine where he was much busier.
At one stage Arsenal expressed interest in him but after three Irish League seasons with Coleraine, his transfer to Blackburn Rovers was completed in July 1937. In his first season at Ewood Park the brilliant but inconsistent Matier appeared in 19 of the final 20 League games.
Never afraid to venture from his line, he was always prepared to dive bravely at the feet of any incoming forward. Injury and inconsistent form restricted him to one appearance in Blackburn’s Division 2 Championship winning year of 1938-39 and he moved to Bradford City in August 1939.
Returning to Ireland he played with Larne and Coleraine and at the tail end of the 1940-41 year he lined out for a few games with St James’s Gate.
He was one of a half dozen new arrivals at Oriel Park in the summer of 1941 and his brilliant goal-keeping, behind Billy O’Neill and Tom Crawley, provided the foundation for the 1941-42 Cup Double of FAI Cup and Inter City Cup.
In the first 20 minutes of the FAI final he withstood incessant attacks from a rampant Cork United. “Daring…dashing…good hands…cool head” were the terms most commonly applied by the Dundalk Democrat to his performances during his three Dundalk seasons.
In this period he was capped on five occasions for the League of Ireland and later, while with Brideville, he got another two caps.
He missed just ten games during his three club seasons and most of these arose from suspensions, when Gerry’s protestations to referees got him into hot water with the authorities. He was noted for shouting at his own players, leading to regular quarrels with his teammates.
During his single season with Brideville he had one embarrassing experience. On December 16th 1944 he picked the ball out of his net nine times while that season’s League Champs Cork United were inflicting a 9-0 hammering, the biggest League defeat in the club’s history.
Gerry spent his last Irish season (1945-46) at Glentoran, where he was selected for the September 1945 showpiece game between the Irish League and the Combined Services.
In September 1946 he returned to the English League scene, and spent short periods on the books of Bradford and Plymouth Argyle. Within two months he was transferred to Torquay United and he retired at the end of that season, at the age of 35, having made 17 League appearances with the Third Division South club.
What They Said About Him
From Irelands Saturday Night on his transfer from Coleraine to Blackburn: “… possesses all the qualities that go to make a polished keeper … quick of eye … a very safe pair of hands … his work is always cleancut … able to keep a cool head even in a tight corner … has the ability and the temperament for the job.”
3 Wins: FAI and Inter City Cups 1941-42; City Cup 1942-43.
3 Runners Up: League 1942-43; Shield 1941-42; Presidents Cup 1943-44.
7 League of Ireland Caps