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Paul McGrath: "Fergie Was A Decent Man, 5 Years Of My Life Were Wasted Disliking Him"

Paul McGrath: "Fergie Was A Decent Man, 5 Years Of My Life Were Wasted Disliking Him"
By Mikey Traynor

Although he is still widely regarded as one of the finest footballers this country has ever produced and a staple of Irish culture for his ability to save his best for the biggest occasion, there are still some further afield who are unaware of the remarkable story that is Paul McGrath's career.

Thankfully, Premier League World have attempted to remedy that by dedicating the entirety of their weekly show to the Dubliner and bring his tale, as told by the man himself, to a wider audience.

The likes of Steve Staunton and Bryan Robson feature, but what stood out to us on first viewing was McGrath's take on the offer that was made to him by Manchester United to end his career as a footballer.

We'd heard before that United offered McGrath £100,000 to walk away from the game after his troubles with alcoholism became too problematic, but what was interesting was the admission that he resented Ferguson for making the offer initially.

With the help of a PFA representative, he realised that he did not need to accept the offer and could continue his career elsewhere as McGrath explains in the clip below.

McGrath has also admitted to teammates such as Bryan Robson and Kevin Moran that his real desire was to continue playing football, but he clearly felt as though he had no choice but to accept the money and head back to Ireland.

The incident left a sour taste in the mouth of McGrath and he held a grudge against Ferguson for years. It was not until Aston Villa won the Coca Cola Cup in 1994, and stopped Man Utd from winning a possible domestic treble in the process, that his opinion changed.


After the final whistle at Wembley, Ferguson came into the Villa dressing room and found McGrath to congratulate him on his performance as McGrath explained later in show.

I owed the Villa fans big time, so to get that cup was just enormous, and to do it against your old club is fabulous.

Sir Alex came in and we ended that stupidity that had been going on, he just said 'Well done big man' and he gave me.. An awful whack in the chest really to be honest, and then he shook hands.

But I took that as love. It turns out he was a decent man and five years were wasted of my life disliking him.

It's good that they cleared things up, particularly as Fergie would also fall out with his next Irish superstar and that damage will almost certainly never be repaired.

McGrath also once again praised the role of the late Graham Taylor in getting his career, and life, back on track as the Villa boss at the time went out of his way to make the Dubliner more comfortable, and you can read more about their relationship here.


Premier League World airs on BT Sport so be sure to keep an eye out if you want to check out the special on Paul McGrath in full.

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