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Wednesday 02 Dec 2015
Walter Bruce 1937-2015

Walter, who played more than 500 times for Glentoran, won two caps for Northern Ireland between 1960 and 1967.

His total of 529 appearances puts him third in the all-time Glentoran standings and his tally of 140 goals has only been bettered by 10 others at the Oval.

The inside forward won his first Northern Ireland cap in 1960 in a 5–2 Home Nations Championship defeat by Scotland.

Walter had to wait until 1967 for his second international appearance - a European Nations Cup qualifier against Wales which ended in a scoreless draw.

With Glentoran he won the Irish League title four times – in 1963-64, 1966-67, 1967-68 and 1969-70.

He also won one Irish Cup (1965-66), two Gold Cups, three City Cups and one Ulster Cup. And he was named Ulster Footballer of the Year in the 1966-67 season. In addition he won eight inter-league caps for the Irish League.

Bruce joined the Glens as a 16-year-old in 1954, breaking into the first team towards the end of the 1955-56 season. In 1959 his tally of 19 goals earned him the Glentoran Player of the Year award.

He was a member of the famous Glentoran team which drew home and away against Benfica in the European Cup in the 1967-68 season. The Glens were eliminated by the Portuguese champions after losing on away goals following 1-1 home and 0-0 away draws.

Walter also played in America during his career. In the summer of 1967 along with other members of the Glentoran squad he turned out for Detroit Cougars in the inaugural United Soccer Association season.

The 1968 summer months brought another trip to the USA as Bruce, along with Glens team-mate Barry Brown, re-signed for the Cougars who were then plying their trade in the new North American Soccer League.

A fitter with STC throughout his playing days, Bruce later opened a newsagent's on the Holywood Road in Belfast and settled in Bangor, Co Down.