The Best XI I Played Against: Russell Porter

Russell Porter is a well-known personality in football circles both in Donegal and Northern Ireland.

He played for Institute in the Irish League from 1998 until 2006. He then went on to represent Kildrum Tigers, Limavady United, and Fanad United with distinction.

Porter also had short spells with West Gate (Melbourne), Bonagee United and Gweedore Celtic, before turning his attention to coaching. He has just completed his ‘A’ licence and is currently manager of Institute’s Under 20 team.

Porter went up against some quality players during his career and has this week picked the best 11 (4-4-2) he has faced.


Darran Nash

Darran Nash (Fanad Untied)

Darran was a top ‘keeper and he didn’t have many weaknesses, if any. Looked after himself off the pitch which always helped. He enjoyed a successful time with Fanad.

Sean Ward (Glentoran)

Sean was a cracking full-back when he broke into the Glentoran team. A great athlete that could defend and attack.

Paddy McLaughlin (Derry City)

I played against Paddy in friendlies when he was at Derry and he was a leader, who really communicated well with his back four. When he joined Institute I really enjoyed playing alongside him and learned loads. No surprise he’s turned into a top manager.


Paddy McLaughlin

Darren Kelly (Portadown)

Darren was super in the air and it was always a tough game playing against him and his Portadown team between 2004- 2006.

Mark Glendinning (Glentoran)

Mark was unbelievable in the air and it’s frightening that he has scored over 100 goals in his career from full-back. One of toughest tackling players I’ve ever seen. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Barry Rooney (Cliftonville)

I remember Barry played against us in a reserve game in the early 2000s and he totally destroyed us. He could go inside or out and I was pleasantly surprised to team up with Barry a few years later when he signed with ‘Stute.

Michael Collins

Michael Collins (Portadown)

A very tough competitor, who won so many second balls and tackles. He could play also and was regarded as one of the best players in the Irish League at that time.

Darren Lockhart (Glentoran)

Darren was a box-to-box midfielder that always scored goals. He was great in the air and won loads of trophies throughout his career. Top player that would be perfect in midfield with Michael Collins.

Paddy McCourt (Foyle Harps)

I played with and against Paddy during our early years in the D & D and when he hit 16/17 he improved so much. We couldn’t take the ball off him and he just glided across the ground. Unbelievably talented player.

Paddy McCourt

Johnny Speak (Finn Harps)

A legend of the game here in the North West of Ireland. What a goalscorer. I only played against him in a pre-season friendly and he scored a hat-trick in 3-3 draw. I was 19 or 20 at the time and it was a good lesson for me.

Kevin Ramsey (Limavady Untied)

Kevin was over at Celtic when he was younger and he had everything as a striker. He could run with the ball, hold it up, and score all types of goals. He terrorised defences and I think he finished Irish League top goalscorer when he was 20 or 21. Injuries definitely hampered his career but what a player. I’ve never seen a ball hit as hard in my life.

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