Enniskillen Rangers - Club Page
Enniskillen Rangers have the longest continuous membership of all of the football clubs in the Fermanagh and Western Football Association. They were founded in 1953, on the disbandment of the old YMCA club, by Harry Carson who with his brother Cecil, the Woods brothers, the Fitzpatrick brothers and the Cleary brothers, formed the backbone of the first great Rangers team. The club quickly established itself in the Fermanagh and Western’s two main competitions so that by the time the club’s tenth anniversary came round they had already won the Mercer (League Championship) Cup and the Mulhern Cup five times each.
This level of success in local competition was maintained throughout the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. The Rangers record, by the time the Club’s Golden Anniversary occurred in 2003, surpassed that of any other club in the history of the Fermanagh and Western: Rangers have won the Mercer Cup 16 times and the Mulhern Cup 15 times in twenty-one finals.
The club’s greatest triumph so far in winning the Irish football’s prestigious Junior Cup was achieved in 1999, and followed two earlier Final appearances. In 1975, Rangers, under the management of Willie McIlroy, were defeated by Glebe Swifts in the Final at Omagh Showgrounds. In 1989, this time managed by Denzil McDaniel, they lost to Oxford United at Stangmore Park, Dungannon. At last managed by Liam Williamson, Rangers achieved the ambition which had long eluded them and swept to victory over Lisburn Rangers at Loughgall. The Club completed an unprecedented treble that year by winning the Mulhern and Mercer Cups
The following year, managed by Joe Keenan, the club reached its fourth Junior Cup Final, falling to a last minute goal against Lisnaskea Rovers at Ballinamallard.
For a period in the early 2000s the club suffered something of a decline, on the playing field at least, and dropped down through the Divisions, but changes in management and administration ensured that the club returned to Division One of the Fermanagh and Western League in 2010.
For the first fifteen years of their existence Rangers played at the old Broadmeadow ground, sharing with Enniskillen Corinthians. This was followed by a ten year spell at the Commons, Bellanaleck, before they acquired a hundred year lease from Fermanagh District Council for the ground at McLaughlin’s Field, Derrychara. After Fermanagh District Council sold the Derrychara site to Tesco’s in 2004, Rangers spent a number of years playing at the Lakeland Forum Playing Fields, while searching for a suitable site to develop their own facilities. After a difficult and protracted process, Rangers eventually acquired land at Woaghternerry on the outskirts of Enniskillen, and engaged Prunty Contacts Ltd to construct two sand-based pitches on the ten acre site. In the spring and summer of 2015, a clubhouse with changing rooms to Intermediate standard, fences enclosing the main pitch, turnstiles and carparking for 200 cars were constructed, and Rangers took up residence for the start of the 2015-16 season.
The club’s most distinguished “old boy” is Jimmy Cleary of Glentoran and Northern Ireland fame. Jimmy picked up a Mercer League medal as a seventeen-year-old in 1973, before going on to Inter-League and International honours, with Espana 82 as possibly the pinnacle of his career. Another former Rangers player who won Inter-League honours was Nigel Birney, a member of the 1989 Junior Cup Final side. In 1961, club legend Sandy Fulton was capped at Under 18 level by Northern Ireland.
ENNISKILLEN RANGERS HONOURS
Irish Football Association
Fermanagh and Western Football League Championship
Winners (16 times)
1955 1957 1959 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1973 1977 1982 1988 1990 1991 1992 1999
Division 4 (Reserves)
Reserve Division 2
Fermanagh & Western Football Association
Winners (15 times)
1956 1957 1958 1959 1962 1964 1965 1978 1981 1982 1984 1988 1993 1995 1999
1977 1986 1989 1992 1994 1998
1972 1973 1975 1978 1982 1988 1991
1954 1955 1956 1973
1957 1965 1967 1986 1988
Armstrong Cup (Armagh)
Fermanagh District Council
Team of the Year
Fermanagh and Western Football League Division One
Fermanagh and Western Football League Reserve Division One
Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association
Mid Ulster Youth League:
Northern Ireland Boys’ Football Association:
Enniskillen Rangers play at the Ball Range, Aughaward Road, Woaghternerry, Enniskillen, BT74 4FR
Enniskillen Rangers Chairman: Enda Love, 18 Meadow Farm, Enniskillen BT74 4QS Tel:07543 975253
Enniskillen Rangers Secretary: Johnny Noble, 35 Ashbourne Manor, Enniskillen, BT74 4BB Tel: 07704029545