Shay Brennan Profile

Shay Brennan

Seamus An­thony Bren­nan, born Man­chester, Eng­land, May 6, 1937. Born in Man­chester to par­ents of Ir­ish des­cent, Shay Bren­nan joi­ned Man­chester Uni­ted as an ap­pren­tice in Dec­ember 1953 and sig­ned his fir­st pro­fes­sion­al con­tract wi­th the club in April 1955. Whi­le at Uni­ted, he amassed over 300 fir­st class ap­pear­ances for The Reds be­tween 1957 and 1970. 

Man­cuni­an Shay Bren­nan leapt in­to the pub­lic con­scious­ness when the play­er was han­ded his fir­st te­am de­but for Man­chester Uni­ted by as­sist­ant-man­ager Jim­my Murphy in a 3-0 FA Cup Fifth Ro­und win ag­ainst fel­low Fir­st Di­vi­sion out­fit Shef­field Wed­nesday at Old Traf­ford on the 19th of Feb­ruary 1958, hit­ting two of the goals. A re­li­able and ro­bust right full­back, he ma­naged to es­tab­lish him­self as a fir­st choice reg­u­lar the fol­low­ing year and clocked up a total of 32 ap­pear­ances for the club in all com­pet­i­tions dur­ing the 1959-60 sea­son. He con­tin­ued to thrive un­der the sound lead­er­ship of im­pos­ing, but mild mannered, head coach Matt Busby and was an im­port­ant part of the si­de which won the Fir­st Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­on­ship in 1964-65 and 1966-67, as well as the UEFA Euro­pean Cup in 1967-68. Ar­gu­ably, Brennan´s greatest achieve­ment as a pro­fes­sion­al foot­baller was his abil­ity to stand out in a Man­chester Uni­ted te­am which in­cluded high pro­file names such as Ge­orge Best, Bob­by Charl­ton, Pad­dy Cre­rand, Bill Foulk­es, De­nis Law, and Da­vid Sad­ler. In the twelve years that his name ap­peared on the books of Uni­ted, he ma­naged to make an im­press­ive 355 Foot­ball Lea­gue out­ings for the te­am be­fore he ul­ti­mately de­cided to leave Old Traf­ford mid­way thro­ugh the 1969-70 cam­paign. He la­ter made a move to am­bi­tious Lea­gue of Ire­land out­fit Wa­ter­ford Uni­ted whom he help­ed win the Lea­gue of Ire­land Cham­pi­on­ship in bo­th 1972 and 1973. Shay Bren­nan, who was once called the Dean Mar­tin of foot­ball by Wilf McGuin­ness, also en­joyed a fine in­ter­na­tion­al ca­reer, col­lect­ing a total of 19 full caps for the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land. The im­pec­cable per­former was giv­en his seni­or de­but in a 1-0 Wor­ld Cup Quali­fier tri­umph over Spain at Daly­mount Park on the 5th of May 1965, and played his last mat­ch for The Boys in Green in a 3-0 Eu­opean Cham­pi­on­ship Quali­fier loss to Italy at Sta­dio Arte­mio Fran­chi in Florence on the 8th of Dec­ember 1970. Shay Bren­nan Play­ing Ca­reer: Man­chester Uni­ted, Wa­ter­ford Uni­ted. Play­ing Hon­ours: Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion 1965, 1967, Eng­lish FA Char­ity Shield 1965, 1967, UEFA Euro­pean Cup 1968.

Shay Brennan Quickfacts

A long serving stal­wart, Shay Bren­nan was the fir­st ever play­er in the long his­tory of Man­chester Uni­ted to re­ceive a pen­sion from the club, and he had his testi­mo­ni­al when Sham­rock Rov­ers be­at The Red Dev­ils 2–0 in front of a 10,000 crowd at Glen­malure Park in Mill­town on the 14th of Au­gust 1986. 


Front Page