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The Wonderfully Nostalgic Irish Football One-Cap Wonders XI

The Wonderfully Nostalgic Irish Football One-Cap Wonders XI
By Conor Neville
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We've already taken a look at the unfulfilled potential Irish XI, but now it's time for something slightly different, the players that for one reason or another managed to get one Ireland camp and no more. Rest assured, the storied USA tour of 2007 gets a few mentions.

Colin Doyle

His cap arrives, like so many other first caps, from the US tour of 2007 as Ireland drew 1-1 with Ecuador at the Giants Stadium.

A dab hand at the back-up keeper role, league appearances have been few and far between since his stint in the posts in the US.

Paul Butler

Sunderland's Butler had a disastrous debut (and final cap) against the Czech Republic in 2000, where he had a torrid time against Jan Koller. Ireland trailed 2-1 when Butler was called ashore. Things got better when Butler was safely on the bench as Ireland came back to win 3-2.

Pat Scully


Scully's sole cap for Ireland came in a friendly against Tunisia in Lansdowne Road in late 1988, a game Ireland won 4-0. Scully, who was with Arsenal at the time, was introduced for Chris Morris at half time.

In the mid 90s, he returned to Shelbourne, and was to become a League of Ireland icon in the twilight of his career.

Jim Goodwin


A former player-coach of St Mirren, the Waterford born Goodwin appeared in Ireland's 3-0 win in Finland shortly after the World Cup in 2002.

Peter Murphy

Another veteran of the 2007 US tour, the Dubliner played the first half against Bolivia, becoming the first Carlisle United player to make an international cap in 40 years (while on the books of Carlisle).


He was released by Carlisle in 2013, returning to Ayr United.

Mike Milligan


A star from that famous 'B' international in Turners Cross in 1990, where Ireland slaughtered England 4-1 (watch here), the Manchester born Milligan made his only appearance against USA, coming on as a substitute for Denis Irwin at Lansdowne Road in April 1992. Ireland won that game 4-1 as well.


He was a fixture in Joe Royle's Oldham side which held their own in the top flight of English football in the first half of the 1990s.

Joe Lapira

The spiritual leader of the one-cap wonders, a player whose insignificance is so striking that he has become, paradoxically, one of the most iconic figures in Irish football in the 21st century.


The BBC chose to mark his debut with the headline 'Desperate Ireland hand Joe Lapira a debut.'

Michael Doyle

The Dubliner spent the bulk of his career at Coventry City before moving to Leeds United for one season and then onto Sheffield United. He earned one cap in 2006.


Richie Sadlier

Shortly before his injuries did him in, he featured against Russia early in 2002.

Owen Coyle

Owen Coyle came on for Tommy Coyne late on in Ireland's 1-0 friendly victory of Holland in early 1994. Coyle had been banging in goals at a decent rate in all the salubrious Scottish hotspots, Airdrieonians, Clydebank and Dunbarton. he scored less regularly for Bolton between 1993 and 95.

Mickey Evans


Looking like one of the nameless bass players that Noel Gallagher would have drafted in during the Be Here Now days, the Plymouth born Evans earned his cap against Romania in the final game of the 1998 World Cup qualification group.

He is also one of the least likely winners of the Match of the Day player of the month award, which he scooped back in April 1997, when a flurry of goals helped keep Graeme Souness' Southampton in the Premier League.


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