Arsenal's Notable Irish Figures: A Look at the Club's Irish Legacy
Arsenal have been one of the top players in the English Premier League for decades, and in that time they have attracted world-class talent from all over the globe. It is no surprise that the UK’s neighbor, Ireland, should have provided such a roster of great players to the club over the years, and some of them made a really lasting impact on British football in general. With such great talent in the squad over the years, Arsenal has always been a great team to bet on. Some of the best sports betting sites often offer bonus boosts on betting on Arsenal. Their consistent performance means betting on them can offer really reliable returns.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the biggest Irish names that have played for Arsenal, so let’s get started.
1) Steve Morrow
First playing for Banger in his youth, Steve Morrow would eventually be signed to Arsenal in 1987. He displayed versatile talent and did well for the team in multiple positions, such as full back, centre back, and as a midfielder. He went on to play for the Northern Ireland national team in many appearances, too, and showed himself to be a huge asset on the pitch. He came and went a lot over the seasons due to injury and other factors, but nonetheless, he remains one of the biggest names in Irish football that played for Arsenal.
2) Pat Jennings
Another Northern Irish player, Jennings started his career with the Shamrock Rovers under-18s where he played from age 11. He fluctuated between football and Gaelic football as a young man until eventually settling on association. After a stint with Tottenham Hotspur, Jennings would move to Arsenal in 1977, where he would remain until 1985 where he played as their goalkeeper. His keeping would help Arsenal through to the cup finals in three years, in 1978 to 1980.
Over the course of his time with Arsenal he would appear for the club 327 times, with 237 of those appearances being in the League. In 1983, he became the first player in English football to make 1,000 appearances in a senior position. He would eventually retire from first-team football in 1985, though he did go on playing in reserve for Hotspur.
3) David O’Leary
To this day, no player has made more appearances for Arsenal than David O’Leary, who spent most of his playing career at the club. As a central defender he appeared 722 times for the club, a staggering figure. He first signed with Arsenal in 1973, and despite being only 17 made 30 appearances in his first season with the club. He was the youngest player to reach the 100 and 200 appearance milestones, making his 400th appearance for the team at only age 26.
Today he manages for Leeds United after he spent two years playing for the team following his departure from Arsenal in 1993.
4) Pat Rice
Pat Rice does not have the same record number of appearances as O’Leary, but in over 500 appearances for Arsenal, he is nonetheless one of the biggest Irish names the team has ever had. He grew up in London though he was born in Belfast, and he joined Arsenal as an apprentice way back in 1964. By 1966 he had gone professional, and in 1967 made his debut in the first-team against Burnely in the League Cup.
He would go on to play in five FA Cup Finals between 1970 and 1980.
5) Liam Brady
Liam Brady is a legend among Irish footballers and in Arsenal’s history and is perhaps the biggest Irish name Arsenal has ever had on the squad. His career started at Arsenal at the age of 15 and turned professional in 1973 at the age of 17. In 235 appearances for Arsenal he would score 43 goals, scoring many legendary goals such as against Tottenham in 1978. He was on three occasions voted player of the year by the club, and was the first foreign player to win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, in 1979.
Who can say how different Arsenal’s history might have looked without these players? They each made a big impact in their own way and potentially changed the course of the club over time. Either way, these Irish players have showcased some of the best Irish talent throughout time, and each one of them was an asset to the team in their own way.
Cover Credits: Dribble.com