Tuesday 27 June 2017

Where are they now?

PADDY MULLIGAN

(Irish international footballer)

UNTIL last week, it was 45 years since a League of Ireland club's European season had extended into late November. Not surprisingly, Shamrock Rovers were that club in 1966, when they came within seven minutes of creating a massive shock in their Cup Winners' Cup tie against Bayern Munich.

Paddy Mulligan was on that Rovers team and he recalled: "We were 2-0 down at half-time, and it was an awful night. The pitch was rock-hard from snow and ice. These days it would probably be deemed unplayable. But we got to grips with the situation and came back to equalise with goals from Bobby Gilbert and Liam Tuohy.

"The type of players we were up against included Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier and Gerd Muller, but we had drawn 1-1 in Dalymount when we should have won. On that night I did man-to-man on Beckenbauer in midfield, and he didn't touch the ball for the night. Wherever he went I went and I tormented him. To rub it in, I made a great run for the goal scored by Billy Dixon.

"I played centre-back in the second match because Liam Tuohy thought we could get a good result from the game. That was the way it was at Shamrock Rovers then, there was no inferiority complex.

"With the score at 2-2 in Munich, we were ahead on away goals, but they got a free with seven minutes to go. I went to head it and Ronnie Nolan came in behind me and it fell to Muller, who volleyed it home.

"We had never been in a position like that before, so we weren't clever enough to sit tight. A few years later that situation wouldn't have developed -- we would have killed off the game. We needed more games than we were getting; we usually only played two European games a season."

Mulligan recalled that Bayern Munich went on to win the trophy that year. He wasn't without compensation himself. In 1969 he was transferred from Rovers to Chelsea and, two years later, he was on the Chelsea team that beat Real Madrid in the Cup Winners' Cup final after a replay in Athens.

Paddy, who went on to play for Crystal Palace and West Brom before finishing at Shamrock Rovers, was capped 50 times. He is now employed by ISF Security.

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