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Tom Sloan (footballer born 1959)

Personal information
Full nameThomas Sloan
Date of birth10 July 1959(age 57)
Place of birthBallymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Height5 ft 6 in
Playing positionMidfielder

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Thomas "Tom" Sloan (born 10 July 1959), also known as Tommy Sloan, is a Northern Irish ex-footballer who played as a midfielder in both Northern Ireland and England in the late 1970s, the 1980s and even the early 1990s.

Born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Sloan began his football career with his local club, Ballymena United. In 1978, he was part of the Ballymena United team that reached the final of the Irish Cup only to lose to Linfield. His role as a key player in that team earned him a selection for the Northern Irish under-21 team for a match against the Republic of Ireland.

That summer, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were locked in a battle for Sloan's signature, but it was United who eventually won out, paying Ballymena United £20,000 for the transfer. Sloan's influence in the heart of the United midfield was not sufficient for him to earn a regular place in the team, but his four appearances in his first season at Old Trafford were enough to attract a call from the Northern Irish senior team at the end of the season. In the space of 15 days, Sloan won his only three caps; two came in the 1979 British Home Championship, against Scotland and Wales, while the other was a UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying match against Denmark.

Sloan's involvement with the Manchester United first team gradually decreased over the next three seasons he made just eight appearances in total in 1979 80 and 1980 81, and none at all in 1981 82 and he was released to Chester City in July 1982. At Chester, Sloan found his niche, making nearly 50 appearances in the one season he spent there before he returned to Northern Ireland to play for Linfield.

After a three-year stint with Linfield, he was transferred to Coleraine for a further three seasons before moving back to his original club, Ballymena United, in 1989. He retired from regular football in 1991 and began to play for Raglan Homers in the Ballymena Sunday Morning League.

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