A gifted left winger, John (also known as Jack) Kirwan was an integral part of Tottenham's success both on and off the pitch, before he made a name for himself in the world of football coaching, both here and abroad.
Kirwan loved to run at full-backs from his left wing position and had pace and trickery had his own personal style, but he acted as a provider for colleagues and scored 13 goals, while missing only two games all season as Spurs won the Southern League in 1900.
Started playing football in Ireland and before leaving home for England, Jack won Gaelic football honours (including an All-Ireland medal with Dublin in 1894) and was capped 17 times for the national football team. Initially plied his trade with Southport Central and Everton (where he replaced John Cameron, who had just left for Tottenham), until he signed for Spurs in 1899. At the end of his first season, the side gained the Southern League title and the FA Cup was won in 1901.
Skilful on the ball and intelligent off it, his link play with David Copeland was a key part of the team's tactics in their success in the early 1900s. His play won him 17 caps for Ireland.
Chelsea, Clyde and Leyton were all clubs that Kirwan later gave service too and his involvement in the game did not stop when he hung up his boots. His understanding of the game translated well into coaching and he became the first full-time manager of Ajax Amsterdam in September 1910 where he had a three year spell in charge. He gained promotion to the First Division in Holland in his first season. After Ajax, Jack went on to coach at Bohemians (Dublin) and Liovono in Italy.
John Kirwan died on 9th January 1959 in London, England.