The Story of one of Glentoran's greatest achievements
It all began with a telephone call from the BBC TV Commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme. "Can you get an Irish team to play in a tournament next summer in the United States".
Wolstenholme a great friend of Northern Ireland football had an idea that Shamrock Rovers and an Irish League team should combine; he suggested, perhaps, Shamrock Rovers and Linfield. Linfield, however, rejected the proposal for various reasons but primarily because their rules then prohibited Sunday football either in N.Ireland or out of it. So too those of the Irish F.A.
Then the organisers decided to have two Irish teams. Shamrock Rovers immediately accepted but Linfield put off the decision for a number of other weeks until they finally declined. Wolstenholm rang again, "We need a reply within ten days if any team is going to take up the offer," he stated.
Then on Boxing Day 1966 Malcolm Brodie, the then Sports Editor of the Belfast Telegraph and Irelands Saturday Night went to the Oval to cover a match. In the Boardroom, sat the chairman Harry McNeely and vice-chairman Jack Dornan. "if you got an invitation to play for two months in the United States this summer, would you accept?" I asked them both. "Yes" both replied. "Even if it means playing Sunday football?" "Yes", they said again.
That Glentoran side, under charismatic player/manager John Colrain was one of the finest ever in Irish League football as the tour results indicated. It included players of quality in all positions, adequate reserve strength, unsurpassed back up with the expertise and motivation of Colrain, the Scot who had a first-class knowledge of football, and by a highly professional administration led by the Board and secretary Billy Ferguson.

So on May 23, 1967 Glentoran, as champions, left Belfast to play their part in help establishing fledgling soccer as a major North American sport. When the coach pulled away from the Oval and travelled along Mersey Street, Dee Street and over the bridge, local residents came to their doors to wish them Bon Voyage. So too did hundreds of workers about to start their morning shift at Harland and Wolff and Short Brothers and Harland.

They arrived to a red carpet reception at town hall with
representatives of Ford, and the United Soccer Association.
But it was the first match against Shamrock Rovers that Colrain was thinking of.