Gary Macartney
At most clubs quality goalscorers are hard to find.  During the 80's however, Glentoran had five forwards who all scored over 100 goals for the club, Blackledge, Manley, Mullan, Jameson and Gary Macartney.
'G-Force' as he was known to supporters came to Glentoran in June 1986, as a 26 year old.  Already a proven goalscorer with 264 in 317 appearances for the RUC, Gary quickly found his goal-touch at the Oval, scoring 4 goals in a pre-season match against Dundela, and scored his first competitive goal in only his secnd match away to Bangor. By the end of his first season Gary had scored 28 goals, won Co. Antrim, Irish Cup and Gold Cup medals and was selected for the Irish League team v the League of Ireland.
Gary Macartney's Playing Record at the Oval
Season Appearances Goals
1986-87 45 28 goals
1987-88 38 + 4 as sub 18 goals
1988-89 54 34 goals
1989-90 54 39 goals
1990-91 36+ 4 as sub 29 goals
1991-92 30 + 4 as sub 16 goals
1992-93 24 + 5 as sub 20 goals
1993-94 22 + 6 as sub 11 goals

Within four seasons Gary had passed the 100 goals target for Glentoran and won league, cup and other honours including Player of the Year awards.  At one stage even the then Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor showed an interest in signing him.  Like Ian Wright at Arsenal who also came into senior football in his mid-20s, Gary seemed to get better with age.

During the 1989-90 season, Gary had by far his best season in a Glentoran shirt as he scored 39 goals in 54 appearances.  In the course of that season Gary played a big part in the departure of Roy Coyle from Linfield. As Glentoran beat Linfield 7 times that season, Gary hit the hammer blows with 9 goals in the seven matches, even when he didn't score, during the Co Antrim Shield Final, he managed one of the penalties in our win on penalties over the Blues.

Over the next four seasons, Gary still found the net regularly until he decided to hang up his boots in senior football and return to RUC in August 1994, where he still regularly found the net.

Looking back over his career one wonders if he had joined us early in his career, just how many goals he would have scored, nevertheless 193 goals in 303 starts is still good enough to put Gary 4th in the all-scoring charts at the Oval, behind all-time greats Sammy Hughes, Fred Roberts and Trevor Thompson.  Good company isn't it?

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