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Paul McGrath Was Afraid To Speak To Kevin Moran After Infamous FA Cup Final Red Card

Paul McGrath Was Afraid To Speak To Kevin Moran After Infamous FA Cup Final Red Card
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Kevin Moran achieved some remarkable things over the course of his career, but unfortunately for him, he will always be associated with a less desirable record.

Back in 1985 while a key player at Manchester United, he became the first player to ever be sent off in an FA Cup final.

Playing against Everton, Moran was put in a difficult when his team lost possession in a dangerous area in the 78th minute. With opposition player Peter Reid running towards goal, the Irishman took him down to prevent what looked like a clear goalscoring opportunity.

He was given his marching orders as a result.


Luckily for Moran, Manchester United would go on to win the game in extra-time thanks to a goal from Norman Whiteside.

Paul McGrath recalls avoiding Kevin Moran after FA Cup final red card

Almost four decades on, some members of that Manchester United team have been reflecting on that game as part of Kevin Moran: Codebreaker, which will air on RTÉ tomorrow night.


In the documentary Moran recalls his emotions at the time, something that ultimately got the better of him as he was escorted off the pitch after his reaction to the decision.


I didn't even think it was a foul. When the referee pulled me back I thought 'the referee is going to give me a yellow card but I'm not happy with that'...

I was stunned when a red card came out...

You immediately think 'if we lose this game, it's my fault because I was sent off'...

After the game Ron Atkinson pulled me. He said 'Kevin, by the way I've just been told you can't collect your medal, but you deserve to go up the steps'.

I go up the steps and the guy went to give it to me. I said 'no, I can't take the medal'.

I should have took it!

Moran was not allowed to collect his winners medal on the day, something that would go on to become a major talking point in the days that followed the final. A campaign was launched calling on the player to get his medal, something that was eventually achieved.

As for his teammates, there was one in particular that shouldered some of the responsibility for Moran's sending off.

Paul McGrath was the one that cheaply conceded possession in the buildup to the tackle. He said that while he believed his defensive partner acted rashly in making the challenge, he did his best to avoid him during the celebrations.


I played the ball back to Kevin and Peter Reid nipped in. Peter Reid, who was one of the slowest and oldest players on the football pitch.

I still believe that I would have been able to pick Kevin up off the ground and still catch Peter Reid...

I didn't want to be around Kevin because I knew what was going to happen. I was the one that got him sent off...

Wherever Kevin was, I was 30 yards away from him just in case he was still angry.

It's fair to say that all has been forgiven at this stage.

Kevin Moran: Codebreaker airs on RTÉ One on Monday, May 29th at 9.35pm.

SEE ALSO: Shane Duffy Set For Transfer Move That Could Reignite His Career

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