Last month, a Youtube user uploaded the 94 minute documentary ‘Que Sera Sera’ which traced the Republic of Ireland’s historical path to Italia ’90 and their first ever World Cup Finals.
A family member was involved in the production of this film and I recently scanned up some pictures he had taken from Ireland’s game against Malta (which secured their place in the finals) in November 1989 and the trip to Italy in the summer of 1990.
Here are a few from the Malta game:
From Ireland’s one-all draw against the Netherlands, 21 June 1990:
These are taken in Ireland’s training ground in Sicily:
This got me thinking about Ireland’s 22 man squad that played at the finals and how many were Dublin born or had played for League of Ireland clubs. This is what I came up:
Kevin Moran, who grew up in Rialto and then Walklinstown, made one appearance with Bohemians in the 1974/75 season before moving to UCD. In December 1975, UCD won the Collingwood Cup beating Dublin University at Belfield Park. In February 1976, Moran scored the winning goal for ‘Irish Universities’ in the Universities Championship final against their Scottish counterparts. Moran joined Manchester United in 1978.
Ronnie Whelan, grew up in Finglas West, made his League of Ireland debut for Home Farm on his 16th birthday at Tolka Park on 25th September 1977. He played with the side for two seasons before joining Liverpool in 1979.
Paul McGrath, who was born in London but was brought up in a number of orphanages in Dublin, made his debut for St. Patrick’s Athletic in a League of Ireland Cup clash with Shamrock Rovers in August 1981 at Richmond Park. He ultimately excelled at St Pat’s, earning the nickname “The Black Pearl of Inchicore” and receiving the PFAI Player of the Year Award in his first and only season, scoring four goals in 31 total appearances. He joined Manchester United in 1982.
David O’Leary moved to Dublin from London at the age of three but did not play for any League of Ireland side. Neither did Niall Quinn from Perrystown in Dublin or Frank Stapleton who grew up in Artane.
Meanwhile Steve Staunton from Drogheda made 13 appearances in the 1985/86 season with Dundalk F.C. while Birmingham-born David Kelly finished his football career with seven appearances (and two goals) at Derry City F.C. in 2002.