Brian Duff

Brian Duff
Brian Duff
League 42(10)21
FAI Cup 6(3)3
Europe 3(2)1
League Cup 4(2)2
Leinster Cup 1(1)2
Others 4(1)2
Totals 60(19)31
77-78 91
79-80 147
80-81 3414
81-82 229
Totals 7931
Date Of Birth: March 21 1960
Place Of Birth: Dublin
Total Appearances: 79
Total Goals: 31
Nationality: IRE
Debut: 12-Jan-78, League Cup, (h) Sligo Rovers, 2-1


Brian Duff’s early football education was with Dublin schoolboy clubs, WFTA and Home Farm, where his teammates included John Archbold, Martin Murray and Synan Braddish. He was a member of the All-Ireland Schools Champions, Patrician College (Finglas) where he teamed up with Ronnie Whelan and where he graduated from a left side defence player to one with a healthy attacker’s appetite.

While with Dundalk’s Finglas nursery club, Raven Athletic, he had received two Youths International Caps, in a friendly against Northern Ireland and against Finland in the European Championship. At the invitation of Liam Brien, Dundalk’s Reserve team coach, he was also playing with the Dundalk Reserves and serving his time on the bench with the first team.

He scored on his senior debut against St Patrick’s Athletic at the end of January 1978 and had only four League starts to his name when he was transferred to Liverpool at the end of April 1978 in a triple transfer along with Synan Braddish and Derek Carroll.

It took him a while to become accustomed to the intensity of the Liverpool full time training regime and even breaking into the Reserves was an achievement. John Toshack later signed eight Liverpool Reserves when he became manager of Swansea and within half a dozen years had brought Swansea from the Fourth to the First Division! Brian’s first team appearances were confined to testimonial games and on one occasion he featured on the team that travelled to play the Saudi Arabia national team.

He returned to Dundalk during the 1979-80 year, scoring twice in his first match back at Oriel Park against Thurles Town, becoming a first team regular for the rest of the year and although losing only once in the last 12 matches, Brian had to be satisfied with a League runner up memento when Limerick pipped Dundalk by a point for the Championship.

But over the following two seasons he more than made up for this disappointment. In 1980-81 he harvested a trio of wins, Presidents Cup, League Cup and finally the FAI Cup after Sligo Rovers were despatched in the final. Featuring in high profile European games against Oporto, Fram and Tottenham Hotspur, he had the distinction of finishing the scoring in Dundalk’s 4-0 win over Fram.

He rounded out his Dundalk medal collection in 1981-82 with a League Championship memento, notwithstanding that he had departed for Galway United under John Herrick in February 1982. Yet again he did the business on his debut, this time scoring a hat trick against Finn Harps. In two of his three Galway seasons he was the club’s leading League goalscorer.

His next move was to Athlone, arriving for the 84-85 season at the tail end of the Town’s revival under Turlough O’Connor. Within a couple of years the Town were relegated to the First Division, but while Dundalk were completing the 1987-88 League-Cup double under Turlough, Brian, in the company of Derek Carroll, was collecting a First Division Championship medal under Turley’s brother Padraig in Athlone’s Centenary year and contributed 13 goals to the victory. Earlier in that season Brian had scored the only goal in the Town’s Leinster Cup victory over Premier side St Patrick’s Athletic.

Under Dermot Keely at Sligo he added another First Division Championship medal in the 1989-90 year. After a season under Ray Treacy with Home Farm (1990-91), he spent his last and fourteenth League season (1991-92) with Longford Town—back in the company of Synan Braddish. Over 14 years he made 285 League appearances alone, scoring 88 League goals.

Afterwards he joined the Shamrock Rovers backroom staff and managed the Hoops Reserves to success in the Reserve League. He has remained involved in football, as administrator (Chairman of Kinseally Boys) and managing their underage squads. A member of Balbriggan Golf Club, he works as a freight forwarding agent for a company specialising in air and sea freight operations throughout Europe.


5 Wins: League 1981-82; FAI Cup and League Cup 1980-81; 2 Presidents Cup 1980-81, 1981-82.

2 Runners Up: 2 League 1979-80, 1980-81.

Career Stats

LOI Career...League Games
Dundalk 1977-78 4(3)1
Dundalk 1979-82 38(7)20
Galway Utd 1982-84 50(0)21
Athlone Town 1984-89 104(10)30
Sligo Rovers 1989-91 18(5)2
Home Farm 1990-91 16(5)4
Longford Town 1991-92 15(0)2
LOI 14 Seasons 245(30)80