Walter Bruce (Northern Irish footballer)
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|Full name||Walter Bruce|
|Place of birth||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Playing position||Inside forward|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).|
With Glentoran, he won the Irish League championship on four occasions in 1963–64, 1966–67, 1967–68 and 1969–70. He won one Irish Cup (1965–66), two Gold Cups, three City Cups and one Ulster Cup. He was named Ulster Footballer of the Year for the 1966–67 season.
Bruce joined Glentoran as a sixteen-year-old in 1954, breaking into the first team towards the end of the 1955–56 season. In 1959, Bruce’s 19 goals earned him the Glentoran Player of the Year title; and the following year he won his first cap in a 5–2 Home Nations Championship defeat by Scotland. In 1967, he captained Glentoran to the League title, also taking home City Cup, Gold Cup and Ulster Cup winner’s medals, was crowned Ulster Footballer of the Year, and six-and-a-half years after first being capped, made the Northern Ireland team again for a 0–0 European Nations Cup qualifier with Wales. The only blip on the season was an Irish Cup final defeat, this time at the hands of Crusaders.
The 1967–68 season brought Bruce another league title. Glentoran were eliminated from the European Cup by Benfica, losing on away goals after 1–1 home and 0–0 away results. Once again the 1968 summer months brought another trip to the USA as Bruce, along with Glens team-mate Barry Brown, re-signed for the Cougars then plying their trade in the new North American Soccer League.
From then on, Bruce’s Irish League career began to slow down. He did claim another Irish League title in 1970 before retiring in 1971. His total of 529 appearances puts him third in the all-time Glentoran standings, and his 140 goals has only been bettered by ten others at the Oval.
- M. Brodie (ed.), Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2009-2010, p. 102. Belfast:Ulster Tatler Publications