HARTE OF THE MATTER: Seeing double on the football pitch

A long list of brothers have donned the blue and white of Harps

Jimmy Harte


Jimmy Harte


HARTE OF THE MATTER: Seeing double on the football pitch

Football fans will have their fill of action and entertainment with the World Cup underway in Russia.

They will see identical 22 year-old twin brothers Anton and Aleksei Miranchuk playing for the Russian team. A huge amount of expectation has been placed on the brothers performing, in order to get the host team out of the their group.

However, closer to home Donegal football fans also have witnessed the sporting stories of the many brothers who played for Finn Harps over the years. I don't think any club can match the list of brothers who donned the Harps shirt since they joined the League of Ireland in 1969.

I was informed of this phenomenon over a chat with my friend soccer mad Peter O’Donnell. He was on a regular visit to my mother in the Diamond, Raphoe and over a cup of tea we got talking. After spending quite some time trying to count the number of Donegal born Celtic players, Peter began telling me about the huge number of brothers and twins who have worn the blue and white at Finn Park. There were 23 and counting.    

The family familiarity has to be of benefit on the pitch. They can sense their sibling’s  presence without seeing them, accurately reading their next move. I’ve no doubt they trust that their brother would support them on, and off, the pitch. This usually works so well that maybe the potential for tapping into that twin bond was either a great strategy used by Harps management over the years or a complete fluke of nature.

Either way the list of brothers and twins that togged out for the Harps over the years is unprecedented. I recall my own youthful soccer days when my brother Paddy and I played together for Lifford Celtic. We had each other’s back on the pitch.

Below is the list of brothers courtesy of Peter. Feel free to let us know if there are more (and there probably are!)


Fintan and Tony Bonner

Shane and Damien Bradley

Hillary, Trevor and Paul Carlyle

Matthew and Gary Crossan

Blain and Gary Crossan

Derek and Liam Coyle (twins)

Paul and Gary Curran

Blain and Declan Curtis

Conor and Trevor Gethins

Gareth and Anthony Gorman

Peter and Tony Hutton

Johnny and David Kelly

Jimmy and Eddie McCready

Malachy and Keelan Mc Dermott

Tom and Paul Mc Guinness

Con and Liam Mc Laughlin

Stephen and Paul Mc Nutt

Joe and Jamsie Nicholl

Michael and Ciaran O’Connor

Tony and Donal O’Doherty

Jim and Paddy Sheridan

Harry and Johnny Walsh

David and Liam Walsh


Have we missed any?