Sunday 11 December 2016

Who put the ball in the Italy net? Everything you need to know about Ireland's newest hero Robbie Brady

Published 22/06/2016 | 23:18

Ray Houghton has been on his own for far too long.

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Sure, there have been plenty of Irish goals at major tournaments - well, 14 - but the ex-Ireland midfielder is responsible for the only two that came in major wins.

Not anymore.

Robbie Brady's nod from Wes Hoolahan's head-seeking missile will be remembered just as fondly as any other scored by the Irish team.

Watch: Robbie Brady sheds tears with his family before proclaiming goal as 'best feeling in the world'  

In his column today, Ronnie Whelan implored new Irish players to step up and make history. Now, when an Irish fan asks who put the ball in the Italian net, there will be more than one right answer.

Robbie Brady has instantly become one of Ireland's most famous footballers.

But who is he?

The midfielder-cum-defender started his football career as a six-year-old with St Kevin's Boys, before he was snapped up by Manchester United to join the club's academy as a 16-year-old.

Roy Curtis: With one gorgeous kiss of leather, Ireland was reintroduced to major tournament hysteria  

Brady, from Baldoyle in Dublin, made his only appearance for Manchester United as an 86th minute substitute against Newcastle in the League Cup in September 2012, having spent the previous season on loan at Hull City, where he played the following year.

A permanent move to Hull followed in 2013, where he remained until his transfer to Norwich two years later, where he still plays.

The Canaries were relegated to the Championship at the end of last season but after his Euros heroics, Brady will be hopeful of a move to Premier League club.

Over the last few years, Brady has developed into a dead-ball specialist, becoming particularly adept at whipping in crosses from the wings, something that has served the Boys in Green well.

At international level, Brady was capped for Ireland at U17, U19 and U21 before making his senior debut in 2012.

Away from football , Brady has a two-year-old daughter, Halle, with his girlfriend Kerrie, who is a choreographer from Swords in North County Dublin.

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