Irish Footballers that Played for Manchester United - Liam O'Brien
Liam O'Brien - Introduction
Midfielder Liam O'Brien was born in Dublin on 5 September 1964. During his first stint in the League of Ireland O'Brien played for Bohemians, and then Shamrock Rovers. Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson bought Liam O'Brien from Rovers for £50,000 in October 1986. O'Brien never got to play for Atkinson as the manager was fired by Manchester United a month later thus heralding the beginning of the Alex Ferguson era at Old Trafford.
Liam O'Brien & Manchester United
Liam O'Brien made his Manchester United debut on 20 December 1986 against Leicester City. Over 34,000 fans watched United win 2-0 at Old Trafford through goals from Colin Gibson and substitute Frank Stapleton. O'Brien went on to make a total of 11 league appearances in that season as United finished in an ultimately disappointing 11th position.
In the 1988/89 season O'Brien made 21 appearances but the vast majority of them were as a substitute. In only his second start that season Liam O'Brien scored his first goal for Manchester United on 6 February 1988 against Coventry City in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford. O'Brien emulated this feat two matches later when he scored the winning goal in a 1-2 win at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea. He also started in that match but only made two more starts that season.
O'Brien only made two starts and just two substitute appearances in the next season - 1988/89. It was clear that O'Brien had no future with United under Alex Ferguson. O'Brien left Old Trafford for a fee of £275,000 to join Newcastle United. Liam O'Brien's last match for Manchester United was on 5 November 1988 against Aston Villa in a 1-1 draw.
Liam O'Brien - Manchester United Player that Received the Fastest Red Card Ever
Liam O'Brien was the recipient of the quickest red card ever shown to a Manchester United player. He was sent off after less than ninety seconds against Southampton in January 1987. O'Brien remembered the occasion as follows: "I still think it was harsh. It was the first tackle of the game. I was devastated as it was the first live game shown in Ireland and all my family and friends were watching it."
Liam O'Brien - Republic of Ireland Career
Liam O'Brien made his debut for Ireland against Uruguay on 23 April 1986 at Lansdowne Road (now Aviva Stadium) in a friendly match. It was also Gerry Daly's last match for Ireland and Daly scored a penalty to earn the Irish a draw. Seven of O'Brien's 16 caps were won as a substitute and he only played in two competitive matches for the Irish. One was a 1990 World Cup qualifier against Spain and the other was eight years later in a 1998 World Cup qualifier for Mick McCarthy against Macedonia. This was O'Brien's last match for the Republic. Although he didn't play in the Euro 1988 qualifiers, or in the finals, Jack Charlton picked him in the Irish Euro 1988 squad that travelled to Germany. Liam O'Brien never scored a goal for Ireland.
Liam O'Brien - Manchester United & Ireland Statistics
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