We're building on from yesterday's piece on forgotten Irish footballers by bringing you six more lads who seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. From well known names such as Gary Doherty to the lesser known Eddie Nolan, these players showed plenty of potential but sadly faded away from the international scene.
The blonde haired, white boot bombshell burst onto the scene at Sunderland over ten years ago. It seems like only yesterday. Thornton has 12 caps for Ireland at u21 level but, despite featuring at every underage grade for his country, the Droghedaman was never capped at senior level.
Thornton left Sunderland for Doncaster Rovers in 2005 where he was relatively successful before moving to Leyton Orient in 2007. After three years at the club – which included a loan move to Shrewsbury Town – Thornton was released and has been flirting with Welsh football. He signed for Aberystwyth Town in 2011 but now plays for Welsh Premier League outfit Bala Town.
The most celebrated of the Irish footballers we've featured, Gary faded from the international limelight after the appointment of Steve Staunton in 2006. Indeed some say it was the absence of Doherty from the squad that was the prime reason Stan's tenure was so unsuccessful.
Having spent most of his career at Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City, Doherty moved to Charlton Athletic in 2010. In 2012 he moved to Wycombe Wanderers, was appointed club captain, and has been there ever since.
Interesting fact: He was just 25 when he won his last cap for Ireland.
Older brother of Stephen Quinn and a solid midfielder in his day, former Sheffield United and Wednesday player Alan Quinn has had his career ruined by injury. After falling out of favour at Sheffield United, Quinn signed for Ipswich Town in 2008.
He had a great time at Portman Road initially but a groin injury and subsequent infection dogged Quinn for over a year before he was eventually released in 2011. After that, he falls off the face of the internet until this year, where he has resurfaced at Handsworth Parramore F.C in the Northern Counties East Football League. He remains the only player to have scored for both teams in the Sheffield derby.
Once heralded the next Ronnie Whelan, Darren Potter never really lived up to his Football Manager potential. The former Liverpool midfielder has however carved out a decent career for himself in the lower leagues of English football. After leaving Liverpool, Potter went to Wolves and won all of his five Ireland caps while at the club.
He made a loan move to Sheffield Wednesday permanent in 2009, where he stayed until 2011 before moving to MK Dons. He's been at Milton Keynes ever since.
Truly the forgotten man of Ireland football, Eddie Nolan won three Ireland caps in 2009 at the tender age of 20. Anyone remember him? Nolan played at Preston North End between 2009 and 2011 but this included two loan moves, to Sheffield Wednesday and Scunthorpe United. His move to Scunthorpe was made permanent in 2011. He was released in 2012 but after a year without a club, Scunthorpe decided to resign him.
Barry Quinn was one of Brian Kerr’s Golden Generation of underage players in the mid-to-late ’90s, and became something of a regular at Coventry City until 2004. His last professional club was Oxford United, with whom he stayed until 2009. He has since been playing for Brackley Town.