IRISH FOOTBALL LEGEND Steve Staunton turns 44 today. Let’s celebrate. Here’s why we love you, Stan…
1. #BÁN Because there’s no one as Irish as him. After 90 minutes in the unforgiving Orlando sun, all that was left of the ten Aston Villa man was a pool of water and a white cap.
2. #PUNT ‘His upfield diagonal punts to Cas or Quinny. Arrows!’ remembers one colleague on the sports desk, as he wipes a tear from his eye and stares into the middle distance. Simpler times.
3. #LOCAL LAD Because he’s hung onto his Louth accent despite spending a lifetime in English dressing-rooms.
4. #DEAD BALL He could hit a set-piece. We all remember him taking and even scoring from corners, but check out this dinked, little free kick against ‘the Soviets’ in 1990.
5. #GOOD IMPRESSION He’s good in Apres Match.
Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer
6. #YOU TELL ME His period in charge of Ireland was a complete and utter disaster. (But we all enjoyed Liveline the Monday after the Cyprus trip, I guess?) But he brought a new slant to press relations. What are the tactics, Steve?
“Well… Shay Given in goal. Four at the back, four in midfield and two up front.” Sew it into ‘em, Steve!
Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images
7. WALK ON After two spells at Anfield, an FA Cup and a First Division title, he’s a club legend at Liverpool.
8. #BOOM! He had a left leg like a traction engine.
9. #SKIPPER He was genuinely brilliant at the 2002 World Cup. Led the team superbly in the absence of Roy Keane, who had a hamstring injury, I think. Can’t remember. He bowed out with an incredible 102 caps.
What are your memories?