The death after an illness of former Linfield full-back Jackie Patterson has deeply saddened a generation of Blues’ supporters who followed the club in the late 1960s and into the mid-seventies.

Jackie, a dogged, determined left-back, with a lot of ability, and technical know-how, spent 10 successful years in a Royal Blue jersey, playing with another sterling full-back, on the right flank, the cultured Ken Gilliland. Jackie came to Windsor Park in 1964 after a promising few seasons at Ards.

Over his Linfield career, Jackie played 350 games; was a regular in the European Cup ties, including featuring in the side that reached the European Cup quarter-finals in 1966-67, the year Glasgow Celtic won the trophy. He also won 20 winners’ medals under the managerships of Tommy Leishman, Ewan Fenton and Billy Bingham…

Other European memories for Jackie were playing in both legs of the European Cup Winners’ Cup against Manchester City in 1970-71. In 1970, he was also an Irish Cup final winner when the Blues defeated Ballymena United 2-1 in the final at Solitude, with both goals scored by Phil Scott. Victor Fleming scored the Ballymena United goal. It would be the last time Linfield, because of the ongoing civil unrest, would play at Cliftonville for more than three decades.

Jackie, on his retirement, was assistant manager of Cliftonville to the late Jackie Hutton, the Scottish-born former Portadown winger. Outside of football, Jackie worked as a plasterer. His family home was at Woodbreda Drive in South Belfast.

Jackie, who was in his early eighties, died in Tullywest Manor care home, Saintfield, Co Down after an illness. He was predeceased by his wife Lorna about a year ago, and is survived by son Darren and daughter Pamela.

Eric Bowyer. Linfield left-back on the 1960s/1970s Linfield team and former club manager, paid fulsome tribute to Jackie’s prowess as a left-back. “Jackie was at No 3 and I was at No 6, and I do know very few got past him. He was a solid-as-a-rock defender, totally committed in the best Linfield tradition  He was also a great guy around the dressing room, with infectious camaradarie, both on and off the field,” said Eric. “Jackie counted it, like myself, a real privilege to play for Linfield,” he added.

Billy Kennedy, former Linfield vice-chairman and current honorary vice-president, said Jackie Patterson was one of the outstanding Irish League full-backs of his era.  “Jackie was totally reliable going into play for Linfield in the big games and his consistency helped win Linfield many trophies in a golden decade after the 1961-62 ‘Seven-trophy’ season. He also had a very personable relationship with the Blue legions,” said Billy. 

Linfield Football Club extends its deepest sympathy to Jackie’s family circle, A thanksgiving service for Jackie’s life will be held at Norman McBriar’s funeral parlour, Saintfield, Co Down at 11am on Wednesday July 10.