Quantcast
DI
comment(s)
142 views this wk.
Denis Irwin

Denis Irwin

Irish footballer
The basics
About
Occupation Association football player
Country Ireland
AKA Denis Joseph Irwin
Date of birth Cork, County Cork, Ireland
Stats
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Sports team Manchester United F.C., Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Leeds United A.F.C., Oldham Athletic A.F.C., Republic of Ireland national under-21 football team, Republic of Ireland national under-23 football team, Republic of Ireland B national football team, Republic of Ireland national football team
The details
Biography

Joseph Denis Irwin (born 31 October 1965) is an Irish former professional footballer who played as a full-back from 1983 to 2004.

Born in Cork, Ireland, he is best known for his long and successful stint at Manchester United, where he established himself as one of the most important players in the United team that won a host of domestic and European trophies in his time there between 1990 and 2002. He has been regarded by Alex Ferguson as, pound for pound, his greatest ever signing. Earlier in his career he played for Leeds United and then Oldham Athletic, and finished his career with a two-year spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Irwin was capped by the Republic of Ireland national side 56 times, scoring four goals and featuring in the side that reached the second round (last 16) at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Irwin is the joint most successful Irish footballer in history, a record he shares with fellow Manchester United stalwart Roy Keane, having won 19 major trophies in his career.

Early life

Irwin grew up in Cork and was educated at Coláiste Chríost Rí. As a schoolboy, he excelled at both Gaelic football and hurling, and played at Croke Park more than once, on one occasion marking future teammate, Niall Quinn.

Club career

Irwin began his career with Leeds United in 1983, making 72 appearances in the Second Division, before moving on to Oldham Athletic on a free transfer in 1986. He helped Oldham reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the final of the Football League Cup in 1990 before he was transferred to Manchester United for a fee of £625,000.

In 12 years at Old Trafford, he made 296 Premier League appearances and won seven Premier League title medals, as well as three FA Cup winners medals (1994, 1996 and 1999), a League Cup winner's medal and Champions League and Cup Winners' Cup honours. He was comfortable in either of the full-back positions and an expert at free kicks and penalties, and even in his mid thirties he was still United's first choice left-back in preference to the much younger Phil Neville.

He scored a total of 22 league goals for United, including several penalties. The first of these came on 7 September 1991 in a 3–0 home win over Norwich City in the First Division.

Notable goals came on Boxing Day 1991, when he scored twice in a 6–3 away league win over his old club Oldham Athletic, and his late winner against Southampton in May 1995 which kept the league title race open until the very last game; United finished runners-up but would have been champions had they been able to turn their 1–1 away draw with West Ham United into a victory, as champions Blackburn Rovers lost their final game of the season.

Denis Irwin outside The Cliff in 1992

Irwin was awarded a testimonial game for Manchester United – played on 16 August 2000 against Manchester City at Old Trafford. Despite testimonials being friendly matches, due to the match being between local rivals it was a physical affair. Irwin went off injured in the 37th minute after a bad challenge by City striker George Weah.

Irwin made his last appearance for Manchester United at Old Trafford against Charlton Athletic on the final day of the 2001–02 Premier League season (12 May 2002), which ended in a 0–0 draw. For his final game as a Manchester United player, Alex Ferguson awarded him the captain's armband.

Irwin joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on a free transfer after the 2001–02 season, coincidentally joining the Black Country club at the same time as his former Manchester United teammate Paul Ince made the move to the West Midlands club, having previously been at Middlesbrough. Irwin scored twice in his first season at Wolves, against Burnley and Grimsby.

After Wolves won promotion to the Premier League in 2003, Irwin was applauded by the Manchester United supporters when he walked onto the pitch at Old Trafford for an early season league game which United won 1–0.

Wolves were relegated at the end of the 2003–04 season, and the 38-year-old Irwin then announced his retirement.

International career

Irwin played for the Republic of Ireland national under-19 football team that qualified for the 1983 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship and the 1984 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship. He was capped 56 times for the Republic of Ireland between 1990 and 1999, and scored four goals. His first appearance came on 12 September 1990 (just after his move to Manchester United), when he helped them beat Morocco 1–0 in a friendly at Dalymount Park. He made his competitive international debut on 17 October 1990, when the national side began their Euro 92 qualifying campaign with a 5–0 win over Turkey at Lansdowne Road. He scored his first international goal on 29 April 1992 in a friendly against the USA at Lansdowne Road. His final international appearance came on 17 November 1999, at the age of 34, when the Republic lost to Turkey in the Euro 2000 qualifying playoff second leg in Bursa. He played for his country at the 1994 World Cup.

Media career

Since 2004, Irwin has worked as a presenter on MUTV. Irwin has been involved in coverage of several football tournaments on RTÉ. He is also a columnist with Ireland's Sunday World newspaper. He contributed to RTÉ Sport's coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Career statistics

Club

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Leeds United 1983–84 19 0
1984–85 41 1
1985–86 12 0
Total 72 1 3 0 5 0 2 0
Oldham Athletic 1986–87 41 1
1987–88 43 0
1988–89 41 2
1989–90 42 1
Total 167 4 13 0 19 3 5 0
Manchester United 1990–91 34 0 3 0 8 0 6 0 1 0 52 0
1991–92 38 4 3 0 7 0 2 0 1 0 51 4
1992–93 40 5 3 0 3 0 2 0 48 5
1993–94 42 2 7 2 9 0 3 0 1 0 62 4
1994–95 40 2 7 4 2 0 5 0 0 0 54 6
1995–96 31 1 6 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 39 1
1996–97 31 1 3 0 0 0 8 0 1 0 43 1
1997–98 25 2 4 0 1 0 6 2 1 0 37 4
1998–99 29 2 6 1 0 0 12 0 1 0 48 3
1999–2000 25 3 0 0 13 0 4 0 42 3
2000–01 21 0 1 0 0 0 7 2 1 0 29 2
2001–02 12 0 0 0 0 0 10 0 1 0 23 0
Total 368 22 43 7 31 0 75 4 12 0 529 33
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2002–03 43 2 4 0 2 0 3 0 52 2
2003–04 32 0 1 0 0 0 33 0
Total 75 2 5 0 2 0 3 0 85 2
Total 682 29 64 7 57 3 97 4

International

Republic of Ireland national team
Year Apps Goals
1990 2 0
1991 6 0
1992 8 1
1993 8 0
1994 7 0
1995 8 0
1996 4 0
1997 4 1
1998 3 1
1999 6 1
Total 56 4

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 29 April 1992 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland United States 4–0 Win Friendly
2 29 October 1997 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland Belgium 1–1 Draw 1998 World Cup qualification Play-offs
3 5 September 1998 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland Croatia 2–0 Win UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
4 10 February 1999 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland Paraguay 2–0 Win Friendly

Honours

Manchester United

  • Premier League: 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01
  • FA Cup: 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99
  • Football League Cup: 1991–92
  • Charity Shield: 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
  • UEFA Champions League: 1998–99
  • European Cup Winners' Cup: 1990–91
  • European Super Cup: 1991
  • Intercontinental Cup: 1999

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Football League First Division play-offs: 2003

Individual

  • PFA Team of the Year: 1993–94 Premier League, 1998–99 Premier League
  • Overall Team of the Decade – Premier League 10 Seasons Awards (1992/3 – 2001/2)
  • PFA Team of the Century (1997–2007): 2007
  • English Football Hall of Fame: 2016
The contents of this page are sourced from a Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
comment(s) so far
Leave a comment
Add a word
What's the good word on Denis Irwin?
To suggest a correction, or to flag this profile for review, click:
References
References
align-centeralign-justifyalign-leftalign-rightcalendarclosedeletediscographydownloadfacebookvideogplusgridinfoinstagramlikelinklinkedinwhatsappmyspacenew-windowquoraquoteredditsearchsoundcloudspotifytumblrtwittervertical-ellipsisviewvinevkwebsiteyoutubebriefcaseeditmaillocationcardawardchildeducationfamilydeathradiotvcamerabibliographymoneytheaterbaseballbasketballfootballpoliticsarrow-right-longarrow-left-longbiographybusinessarrow-leftarrow-rightbodybuildingrunningswimmingtable-tennischesscommentsusernewscommentsresizelogoutstumbleuponchartwordlistarrow-uparrow-downpandoragplaydeezerihearttuneinpandoragplaydeezerihearttuneinitunes