Irish Footballers that Played for Manchester United - Gerry Daly
Gerry Daly - Introduction
Gerry Daly was born in Dublin on 30 April 1954. Daly, an attack-minded midfielder, emerged through the great schoolboy football academy Stella Maris. In his short League of Ireland career he played for Bohemians from Phibsboro. In 1973 Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty signed Daly for the Old Trafford outfit for a fee of £20,000. Daly's timing could have been better as he joined the Red Devils as they were becoming involved in a battle to avoid relegation in the season that he joined United.
Gerry Daly & Manchester United
Gerry Daly made his Manchester United debut on 25 August 1973 against Arsenal. It was a baptism of fire for Daly at Highbury in front of more than 50,000 fans as the Gunners won 3-0. Daly's appearances were somewhat intermittent however in the last couple of months of the season he nailed down a berth in the United midfield.
It was during this period that Gerry Daly scored his first goal for Manchester United on 30 March 1974 against Chelsea in a 1-3 win for United at Stamford Bridge. Despite this away victory Manchester United were relegated to the Second Division at the end of the 1973/74 season as the Reds finished in 21st place in the League. Gerry Daly had made 16 league appearances, 2 as a substitute, and he scored just the one goal.
Gerry Daly and Manchester United in the Second Division
Gerry Daly and Manchester United began the 1974/75 season in the unfamiliar territory of the English Second Division. Nevertheless Daly seemed to feel right at home as was an almost ever-present in the team that season and he scored five goals in the first four matches of the season. Gerry Daly scored a hat trick for Manchester United against Milwall on 24 August 1974. He followed this up with winning goals in successive matches against Portsmouth and Coventry City. Four matches into the season and Manchester United were top of Division Two with a 100% record and playing a swashbuckling style of football. Gerry Daly made 46 appearances that season and scored 13 goals along the way as Manchester United won the Second Division title and won promotion back to the First Division.
Gerry Daly and Manchester United Return to the First Division
On their return to the English top flight United and Daly continued their good form. Gerry Daly made a record number of appearances for Manchester United in the 1975/76 season. In all competitions he made 51 appearances and scored 11 goals as United finished in third place in league with the highest number of goals scored. Four of Daly's goals that season came in the FA Cup as United made it to the final. These included winning goals in the third and fifth rounds. United were big favourites to win the final however Lawrie McMenamy's Southampton had other ideas. A late goal by Bobby Stokes denied Gerry Daly's best opportunity to win a major honour with Manchester United.
Daly began the 1976/77 season as he finished the last - in the first team and scoring the occasional goal. Then somewhat inexplicably Tommy Docherty sold Gerry Daly to Derby County in March 1977 for £175,000. There was some speculation that there had been a falling out between the manager and the player. Docherty would later admit that this was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made in his managerial career. Ironically after Docherty was fired by United in 1977 he was installed as Derby County manager in September 1977. In another twist of fate, Gerry Daly's last match for Manchester United was against Derby County on 5 February 1977 at Old Trafford.
Gerry Daly - Republic of Ireland Career
Gerry Daly made his debut for Ireland against Norway on 6 June 1973 in a friendly match at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo. The match was a 1-1 draw with Miah Doherty scoring the Irish goal. His first four appearances for Ireland were in friendly matches and Gerry Daly's first goal for Ireland was against England on 8 September 1976. It was a 58th minute penalty at Wembley Stadium. Daly's first competitive goal for Ireland was in a 3-3 draw away to Denmark in a 1980 European Championship qualifier.
Daly went on to play for Ireland 48 times and scored 13 goals for his country. Gerry Daly's last match for Ireland was against Uruguay on 23 April 1986 at Lansdowne Road (now Aviva Stadium) in a friendly match. Daly was a Shrewsbury Town player at the time and it was the only occasion that he played for Jack Charlton. Gerry Daly's last goal for Ireland was scored from the penalty spot in this match to earn Ireland a 1-1 draw.
Gerry Daly - Manchester United & Ireland Statistics
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