Manchester United Irishmen
Irish Footballers that Played for Manchester United
From as early as 1893 Irish footballers began their relationship with Manchester United. Well actually, that’s not strictly true as Manchester United did not exist back then. At that time the club was known as Newton Heath when Linfield forward John Peden crossed the Irish Sea to Manchester.
Peden was an outside left and played just one season with the Heathens before he joined Sheffield United. As Newton Heath morphed into Manchester United the path that Peden followed from Ireland to Manchester has been followed by many more Irish footballers with over 60 making at least one appearance for the Red Devils first team.
Many more made the journey but did not make the grade at United. These include Paddy Sloan from Armagh who went on to play in Serie A in Italy, football pundit Eamon Dunphy, and more recently Irish international Paul McShane.
Green Reds that Succeeded
Irish footballers have featured in almost all of Manchester United’s greatest triumphs down through the years. The first European cup won by any English team was by Manchester United in 1968 in Wembley – ten years after the tragic Munich air disaster. The team on that famous night included three Irishmen; full backs Shay Brennan and Tony Dunne, and George Best. Best scored the first goal in extra time against Benfica of Portugal.
Alex Ferguson’s pursuit of his own Holy Grail came to a successful conclusion when Manchester United won the 1999 Champions League Final at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona against Bayern Munich. Cork full back Denis Irwin played on that fateful night which yielded the second leg of an unprecedented treble for United that season.
Central to that achievement was United’s captain at the time, Roy Keane. His performances during the 1998/99 season was absolutely vital to United’s success. This was never more evident than his astounding and compelling performance in Turin against Juventus in the Champions League semi-final second leg.
List of Northern Irish Footballers that Played for Man Utd
List of Republic of Ireland Footballers that Played for Man Utd
Manchester United History
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