Bryan Robson reveals what he admires most about Irish football legend Paul McGrath 4 years ago

Bryan Robson reveals what he admires most about Irish football legend Paul McGrath

Similar to George Best, Paul McGrath was a tremendously gifted Irish footballer whose career became increasingly blighted by alcohol addiction.

Like 'El Beatle,' McGrath's demons came from the bottle and continued to haunt him after he hung up his boots. Best died when he was 59 and McGrath, now 58, is still going, battling his cravings every day.

Advertisement

McGrath shone under Ron Atkinson at Manchester United but had a fractious relationship with Alex Ferguson. However, he was always a popular figure among fans and that charisma carried through to his seven years with Aston Villa. McGrath won two League Cups and made 323 appearances for Villa, while fans refer to him simply as 'God.'

He turned out 83 times for Ireland, too, playing every single minute of his country's World Cup campaign at Italia '90.

Having been an immensely talented and elegant footballer with a destructive side, Ireland fans have always had a special place in their hearts for McGrath, so it was lovely to hear Manchester United legend Bryan Robson saying some lovely things about his former teammate this week.

Advertisement

"Big Paul, if he didn't have his knee injuries, who knows where he could have ended up," Robson told SportsJOE during a trip to Dublin this week.

"He was just such a natural athlete and a great footballer. For being a big man, he had such a fantastic touch on the ball and was brilliant in the air. But he was just so quick as well, so where he came from I always thought he did fantastically well and had a great career considering the problems he had. But no, he was truly a great player and a great lad."

We'd agree with every bit of that.

“Bryan Robson was speaking at the launch of Carling's Play on a Premier League Pitch Experience. Carling are giving Irish fans the chance to win an experience of a lifetime to play a match on a Premier League pitch. To enter, visit www.facebook.com/CarlingIreland"