Glen, William Matthew (‘Sacky’) (1903–81), soccer player, was born 18 July 1903 in 25 North William St., Dublin, son of Robert Glen, blacksmith, and Maria Glen (née Hillan). He joined Shamrock Rovers at the age of sixteen, while the club was still in the Leinster Senior League, and went on to become a fixture at full-back in the great Rovers teams of the 1920s and 30s, winning a joint club record of seven FAI Cup winners medals (1925, 1929–33, 1936) and also played in two losing finals (1922, 1926). He won four League of Ireland championship medals with Rovers (1922/3, 1924/5, 1926/7, and 1931/2), completing the ‘double’ of league and cup in 1925 and 1932. After a long and successful career with Rovers he left the club, allegedly following a difference of opinion with the club's new owner, Joe Cunningham, in 1936. After a spell with Bridewell, he joined Shelbourne, with whom he won an eighth FAI Cup winners medal in 1939, when he scored a spectacular winner in a replay against a Sligo Rovers team that included the famous English international centre-forward William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean. Glen's winner came from a free kick in the second minute of a final watched by 28,000 people, and it gave the cup to Shelbourne for the very first time. His only other cup-final goal was an own-goal scored while playing for Shamrock Rovers against Shelbourne in Rovers’ 2–1 victory in 1925. In total he played in a record ten FAI Cup finals and four replays, and became the first of only two players to date to win eight FAI Cup winners medals.
At international level he won a total of eight caps for the Irish Free State side in a nine-year period (1927–36). He made his debut in the FAI's second-ever international, and their first home match, against an Italian ‘B’ side on 27 March 1927, a game that resulted in a 1–2 defeat. He missed Ireland's first-ever World Cup game, against Belgium in 1932, with an injury, and it was almost four years before he played at international level again, when he returned as captain in a 3–5 home defeat to Holland in December 1935. He remained as captain for his final three internationals, and his finest hour in an international shirt was probably leading Ireland to a 3–3 away draw against a Hungarian side that was regarded as one of the strongest teams in Europe on 3 May 1936. His final international was a 5–1 demolition of Luxembourg six days later, and in eight international games he was on the winning side in four games, one game was drawn, and three games were lost. In all his international games he wore the number four shirt, playing in the right half-back position. He also won two inter-league caps in 1930.
‘Sacky’, as he was always known, was a genuine folk hero, whose fame extended far beyond the football field and beyond the era in which he played. His tenacious and never-say-die approach to the game, allied to no little skill and courage on the field and a tremendous level of fitness, made him one of the best full- or half-backs to have played the game in Ireland, and one of the most famous players in the history of the domestic game. Initially he worked as a labourer during his football years but subsequently worked for many years in the offices of the Irish Times. He died 28 May 1981 in his seventy-eighth year.
He married (1940) Chelsea Robinson, from Linenhall St., Dublin; they had three children.