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LOTW - 26/4/07 - Denis Irwin


Stevie_J
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Welcome to the fifth Latics Legend of the Week. This week it's the most successful ever Latics player, and one of my heroes, Denis Irwin.

We're looking for you, our members, to post their memories, anecdotes and stories of our weekly Legend!!!

Met him in a pub? Go to school with his Mrs? Go to school with him? Get hit by his car?
Anything and everything!

If you have access to some season stat's or career stat's then post them too, pictures, videos, songs!?
Post them all!!

So, Get Posting!!


A couple of very simple rules:
1. Please stay on the topic of a single legend at once... it probably apparent why by now.
(If you would like to suggest an upcoming legend then please feel free to PM me)
2. Please don't post anything which may subject you to libel... as OWTB cannot be held responsible for that.
3. Have fun!

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Guest sheridans_world

Years.................Club.................................. App.................. (Gls)*

1983-1986..........Leeds United.......................072................... (1)

1986-1990..........Oldham Athletic...................167................... (4)

1990-2002..........Manchester United...............368 ..................(22)

2002-2004 .........Wolverhampton Wanderers...075.................. (2)

 

International

1991-2000..........Republic of Ireland...............056.................. (4)

 

Not perfect but hey-ho

 

 

Wish he would have stayed at Latics longer, or come back! A really nice bloke from what i have heard.

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I may stand corrected on some of the finer detail, but I remember being stood in the Chaddy End on a Friday night (I think)watching us play Crystal Palace (I think)when Denis hit a thunderous shot from a cleared corner. It hit the crossbar and the ball re-bounded virtually to the half way line. In the Chron on the Monday with the match report was a picture of the groundsman who had found that the shot had actually broken the crossbar.

Denis was a real un-sung hero of Latics; he was never really appreciated until he left. I think this was partly to do with the fact he was around during the Palmer/Ritchie/Marshall/Pinch Me era, when the team was all about attacking rather than defending, and partly the fact that he left us to join the enemy!!

 

What a fantastic player who ended up with the career record he deserved, Latics Legend no doubt!

 

Deeeniiiis, Deeeniiiis, Deeeniiiis......................................

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Proper legend for me, when United fans bang on about their favorite team and Irwin gets a mention I make sure they remember where he came from. Met him a couple of times when I was a kid but dont really recall any conversations with him.

 

Even though he signed for Manchester United which is almost inexcuseable in itself, as pointed out above he was most definately a player who deserved a brilliant career.

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I was only the 71st member (i think) of when the junior latics started back in the early 80s and i represented/skippered wooee!! :aplayer1: them a couple of times in various tournaments and games on the hallowed bp turf (as well as o/m sports centre and clayton sports hall ) and after winning a plyer of the tournament for the over 12s (i think i was 42 at the time!!) Denis Irwin presented the trophy to me. Legend and a very nice man! :first:

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At the time of his signing, I had a few Leeds supporting mates. They laughed when we took him (free transfer!) and said that he was one of the worst players that they had ever seen at Elland Road. I guess the rest is history. I think that he used to share a house with Tommy Wright when they both first joined Latics.

 

It is always great to see Denis back at Boundary Park. A true legend and I would guess one of the first names in many people's All Time Greatest Latics XI.

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Denis was one of Latics' best ever free transfers. When sold for £650,000 in 1990 he surely made one of the great transfer bargains in modern football history.

 

He was a manager's dream player - guaranteed solid professionalism and reliability. He was a skillful attacking full-back, who would go on clever overlapping runs and deliver swerving crosses to perfection.

 

He also had a powerful shot. Peter Schmeichel said "Andrei Kanchelskis had the hardest shot at United and Paul Ince really improved but Denis is the best striker of a dead-ball because he can spin the ball. He can bend it better than Ryan Giggs."

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Denis was one of Latics' best ever free transfers. When sold for £650,000 in 1990 he surely made one of the great transfer bargains in modern football history.

 

He was a manager's dream player - guaranteed solid professionalism and reliability. He was a skillful attacking full-back, who would go on clever overlapping runs and deliver swerving crosses to perfection.

 

He also had a powerful shot. Peter Schmeichel said "Andrei Kanchelskis had the hardest shot at United and Paul Ince really improved but Denis is the best striker of a dead-ball because he can spin the ball. He can bend it better than Ryan Giggs."

For some reason I had it in mind that he went for £250k. 650 sounds more like it, although still a bargain for a guaranteed starter in the country's dominant team for a decade or so.

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For some reason I had it in mind that he went for £250k. 650 sounds more like it, although still a bargain for a guaranteed starter in the country's dominant team for a decade or so.

 

It was definitely £650k.

 

I learned of his transfer to Man Utd from Paul Warhurst while holidaying in Faliraki, Rhodes. B)

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Guest oa_exile
It was definitely £650k.

 

£625K to be exact , i remember i was fuming when i heard he had gone to Manure :angry: and then my head hitting the ceiling when i saw the tranfer fee :angry::angry:

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Ah Denis.

 

Behind the Dodger as my second favourite ever Latics player and in much the same mould, solid and dependable and in some ways the most unnoticed player on the pitch, well until he wasn't there, then boy did you miss him!

 

It is an almost recurring theme through his career to, United ST holding mates never spoke about him unless he was missing from the team. For all you ABU lot who think he is the spawn of the devil, Fergie, the modern games most successful manager still rates him as one of his best ever signings.

 

Not bad for a freebie from Leeds really.

 

I don't remember the opposition but he had an impact on me straight away. I couldn't believe that Leeds had let this little slip of a lad go for nothing. I was 19 when he signed for us and watching him just reminded me of one of my boyhood heroes in blue, John Ryan. Quick, good on the ball and a devestating free kick, he had everything a player could wish to have.

 

Despite his lack of size though he was never one to fear confrontation, he was as hard as you could get on the green stuff. If it went he wouldn't be shy at backing up his team mates. He could cause the odd ruck too.

 

But no Billy big nads from him, off the pitch he was a quite and unassuming man, a managers dream, though not shy like Scholsey, he would easily spend time chatting away to the fans.

 

I met him at the end of season Latics do after his first season at Wolves and we sat and chatted for about half an hour, I asked him if he ever fancied a final fling at BP which made him laugh. He said he loved it at BP and supporting of various functions, but Wolves would be his last club. Instead we talked about his most memorable games, obviously mostly United ones, but the semis against his then soon to be new employers and the playoff games against his previous employers featured prominently.

 

Next to Eyrsey (for me) he is probably one of the most grounded and genuinely nice people that I have met that has been/is involved in football.

 

All you have to actually do is look at his medals tally to find out how good he was.

 

English Champions: 7

1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001

FA Cup: 3

1994, 1996, 1999

League Cup: 1

1992

UEFA Champions League:1

1999

European Cup Winners' Cup: 1

1991

European Super Cup: 1

1991

Intercontinental Cup: 1

1999

 

I just wish he had stayed a season longer to get his gong with us. I am pretty sure that there are only two players in the history of the game with more champions medals in England than him. Ryan Giggs and Phil Neal both with eight.

 

Just to think of that haul is staggering, even more so that if it wasn't for our little club he wouldn't have gotten close to any of it.

 

An amazingly consistent footballer, a true gent of the game and doubtlessly a Latics legend.

 

KtF,

 

Derek.

Edited by DerekWilson_1968
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Good post, Derek.

 

As I've said, Denis was one of my heroes, one of my first. I was only a kid but I knew he was a bit special. I don't think I exagerate by saying he's one of the greatest full backs the game has seen, and that's reflected in his success.

 

My favourite Denis-memory is of me, just a nipper, hanging from the fence at the front of the Chaddy end and watch him fly down the right wing, towards me. He knocked a great cross into the box, on the run, and then ran full pelt straight into the fence, almost knocking me off. Before running off, he gave me a slight wave. I was stupidly chuffed.

 

He was the sort of player more players should be, a true pro. I know from my dad, who often saw the players out drinking during that era, that Denis very seldom drunk and was usually sat quietly with an orange juice and that he was as amiable a fella as Derek describes. I'm not saying players should never touch a drop, but Denis deserved every bit of his success.

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