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The Perennial 8/10 Player - A Tribute To Denis Irwin

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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Mr.Reliable, the perennial 8/10 player, a man who never let anyone down ever.

Denis Irwin is a Manchester United and Ireland legend.

For some reason, Denis Irwin doesn't come up in everyday conversation in the way that some of his team-mates of the past do, and that is just not fair, because anyone who played with him, or even watched him play, knows what a truly brilliant player he was. Perhaps it's his calm demeanour and low-profile attitude, but whatever the reason, Denis Irwin is not celebrated as much as he should be.

We want to put that right, here are a collection of moments, stats, and anecdotes from the career of a truly brilliant player.

He made a name for himself at Oldham Athletic.

Although Irwin started out at Leeds United, it was at Oldham where he really began to shine. After 167 appearances and 4 goals, Irwin signed for Manchester United for a mere £625,000, which would go down as a seriously shrewd piece of business by Alex Ferguson.

His list of major honours is absolutely stunning.

-7 Premier League titles.
-3 FA Cup winner's medals.
-4 Charity Shield winner's medals.
-1 League Cup winner's medal.
-1 Cup Winner's Cup medal.
-1 Champions League winner's medal.
-1 European Super Cup winner's medal.
-1 Intercontinenal Cup winner's medal.
-1 Championship Play-Off Final winner's medal.


He was voted into the 'Overall Premier League Team Of The Decade' 1991-2001.

Sir Alex Ferguson claims that Irwin is the first name on the team sheet for his all-time XI.

Last year Sir Alex Ferguson was quoted as saying the following regarding Irwin:

"People ask you who is your best Man United team, it is absolutely impossible. But honestly, I would say Denis Irwin would be the one certainty to get in the team. I called him an eight out of 10. At Highbury in one game he had a bad pass back in the last minute and Bergkamp came in and scored. After the game the press said 'you must be disappointed in that pass back. I said, well, one mistake in 10 years isn't bad. He was an unbelievable player.

High praise indeed.

He made his Ireland debut in September 1990


Just after his move to Manchester United, Irwin made his Ireland debut on September 12, 1990, in a friendly against Morocco in Dalymount park. He would go on to play for Ireland 56 times, scoring 4 goals.


He was an absolute master of the penalty kick.

He scored 11 out of 12 Premier League penalties for Manchester United and never missed a spot-kick while wearing the green jersey.

And he could bang in a free-kick as well!

He earned the trust of Roy Keane.

Something not many men can claim to have done.


And they were both crap at golf.

This hilarious video shows that the lads were utterly useless at golf, but loved a good laugh.

Irwin loved to get forward, with devastating effect.

He was as solid as a rock at the back, but often caught teams off-guard with his calculated attacks from full-back.

And he finished off Eric Cantona's favourite moment in football.

Denis Irwin had 'swag' before it was a thing.

And we're sure he despises what it has become today.

Today he works as a pundit for MUTV.

...And spends his spare time playing football with mimes on stilts.


Denis Irwin, the ultimate unsung hero.

Photo credit: Sportsfile


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