herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Superfan stunned as legend McGrath pops in to watch the match

Ireland v Sweden, David Murphy, Perrystown with guest Paul McGrath.
Ireland v Sweden, David Murphy, Perrystown with guest Paul McGrath.
Ireland v Sweden, watched on tv in David Murphy's house in Perrystown with guest Paul McGrath.
Ireland v Sweden, watched on tv in David Murphy's house in Perrystown with guest Paul McGrath.

Family and friends of superfan David Murphy got the surprise of a lifetime as Irish football royalty Paul McGrath arrived at their door to watch the Boys in Green take on Sweden.

Cheers rang out as McGrath arrived at Mr Murphy's home in Perrystown around 20 minutes before kick-off.

The only problem was - David wasn't there.

But his brother Aaron Murphy was on hand to welcome the football legend as he arrived to watch the match with the football-mad family.

The smiling teacher eventually arrived and explained he was working supervising the Leaving Cert.

"I had to rush to beat the traffic," he joked as he rushed to shake McGrath's hand.

"It's obviously a great honour to have Paul here, an Ireland and Manchester United legend," he told the Herald.

For one guest at the home, the event was extra special.

Edel McDonald's mother, Bridie O'Brien, passed away in 2002.

She was such a big fan, she was buried with a picture of McGrath, along with keeper Packie Bonner.

"I painted my car as well in the colours, in her honour. She used to make big banners for all the games," Edel said.

Paul said he loved the opportunity to watch the game with the fans and said he was confident of Irish chances in the tournament.

"We have a history with Italy so that could go one way or another. We have a strong team.

"We can get out of this group and believe we can go on," he said.

Mr Murphy won a competition run by soft drink brand Club to have the football star watch the game at his house.

He was branded Ireland's 'zero compromise' fan in keeping with the theme of McGrath, who was known for his no- nonsense, hard-tackling style when he played as Ireland's greatest-ever centre-half.

Commitment

Known in some football circles simply as 'God', McGrath played through injury and always demonstrated unwavering commitment to the team.

The defender won 82 caps for Ireland and played in one of the strongest-ever Ireland teams in the 1994 Word Cup in the USA.

There, he is remembered for almost single-handedly taking on the Italian frontline, including one famous incident where he stopped a Giuseppe Signori shot with his face and played through excruciating knee pain.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News