Paul McGrath Profile

Paul McGrath

Paul Mc­Grath, born Lon­don, Eng­land, Dec­ember 4, 1959. Paul Mc­Grath ini­ti­ated his ro­und ball ca­reer wi­th Ir­ish si­de St Patrick­’s Ath­let­ic be­fore the tal­en­ted mid­field play­er was bro­ught to Man­chester Uni­ted where he was con­ver­ted in­to one of the finest de­fenders in the Foot­ball Lea­gue by man­ager Ron Atkin­son. Whi­le at Uni­ted, Mc­Grath ac­cu­mu­lated 163 Fir­st Di­vi­sion ap­pear­ances for the Old Traf­ford club and col­lec­ted an FA Cup medal in 1985.

By then Paul McGrath´s soc­cer ca­reer was at its ab­so­lute peak, and the com­mand­ing and whole­hearted per­former was ex­pec­ted by most foot­ball pun­dits to fol­low in the foot­steps of great Man­chester Uni­ted de­fenders of the pa­st such as Bill Foulk­es and Da­vid Sad­ler. But Foulk­es and Sad­ler nev­er stayed out drink­ing un­til the early hours like Mc­Grath did. Tra­gic­ally, the ex­ceed­ingly frus­trated and rest­less foot­baller turned to al­co­hol and sed­at­ives to cope wi­th the vari­ous pres­sures ar­ound him and he would hold his breath dur­ing ga­mes to avoid smelling of drink. Af­ter fall­ing out wi­th Man­chester Uni­ted Head Coach Al­ex Fer­guson in the sum­mer of 1989, he was sub­sequently dis­patched to As­ton Vil­la where he re­ceived a new lease of life and he was de­servedly voted the PFA Play­ers’ Play­er of the Year in 1993. A firm fa­vour­ite wi­th the sup­port­ers at Vil­la Park, the de­term­ined stop­per help­ed The Vil­lains win the Foot­ball Lea­gue Cup in bo­th 1993-94 and 1995-96 be­fore he de­cided to join for­ces wi­th re­cently pro­moted Pre­mier Lea­gue si­de Der­by Coun­ty at the start of the 1996-97 cam­paign. Des­pite his dazzling skills, he failed to settle down at the Base­ball Gro­und, and he was trans­ferred to Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion out­fit Shef­field Uni­ted the fol­low­ing year af­ter spend­ing on­ly one sea­son wi­th The Rams. Capped 83 times by his coun­try, Mc­Grath made his full in­ter­na­tion­al de­but for the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in a 2-1 friendly fix­ture de­feat ag­ainst Italy at Daly­mount Park in Dub­lin on the 5th of Feb­ruary 1985, and was part of the hard work­ing te­am which rose to prom­in­ence un­der the shrewd lead­er­ship of man­ager Jack­ie Charl­ton. But un­for­tu­nately, his per­son­al prob­lems up­set the sweet roll of suc­cess and his drink­ing hab­its ul­ti­mately for­ced him to an­nounce his re­tire­ment from the ga­me of soc­cer at the end of the 1997-98 sea­son. Af­ter mov­ing back to Ire­land, he was ap­poin­ted as Wa­ter­ford United’s new dir­ect­or of foot­ball in Feb­ruary 2004. Paul Mc­Grath Play­ing Ca­reer: St Patrick­’s Ath­let­ic, Man­chester Uni­ted, As­ton Vil­la, Der­by Coun­ty, Shef­field Uni­ted. Play­ing Hon­ours: Eng­lish FA Cup 1985, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Cup 1994, 1996.

 

Paul McGrath Quickfacts

Paul Mc­Grath was a vi­tal mem­ber of the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land Squad which ma­naged to qual­i­fy for the FIFA Wor­ld Cup in 1990 and 1994, as well as the UEFA Euro­pean Cham­pon­ships in 1988.

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