Monday 23 July 2018

'Get this f**ker off before he kills somebody' - Joe Brolly recounts hilarious story of Anthony Tohill's Manchester United trial

Anthony Tohill was a no-nonsense player
Anthony Tohill was a no-nonsense player
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Joe Brolly has shared a hilarious story about Anthony Tohill's Manchester United trial in 1995.

Brolly and Tohill were pivotal members of the Oak Leaf side which brought home their one and only All-Ireland triumph in 1993.

Tohill was an athletic specimen and he attracted the interest of Man United boss Alex Ferguson after a scout suggested that the teak-tough midfielder was worth a look..

He travelled to Manchester two years after lifting the Sam Maguire with Derry and that's where Brolly, who was speaking on Eamon Dunphy's podcast The Stand, picks up the story.

"Ferguson met Tohill, shook hands with him and said, ‘You’re a fine big lad. I’m going to throw you in with the first team.’

"‘Brilliant,’ Tohill said. ‘Brilliant. That’s what I’m talking about'."

Brolly claims that Tohill cleaned out Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis early on in the trial.

"So Tohill goes out anyway, and the first ball that comes in Kanchelskis is coming across at the diagonal to gather it and Tohill just ploughs straight into him. Bang, puts him up in the air and Kanchelskis rolls over three or four times. Tohill comes through and belts the ball upfield. It’s sort of like, ‘Jesus.’ It’s a trial game.

"So the next ball that comes in and he scatters another fella. Kanchelskis meanwhile has gone over to the sideline and apparently said to Ferguson, ‘Get this fucker off before he kills somebody'.

"After about 10 minutes Ferguson has seen enough and he calls bit Anthony over. He says to him, ‘Ah, I think we’ve got you a bit late, son. We’ve just a wee bit too much to do with you'."

Recounting his trip to Manchester a few years back, Tohill admitted that Fergie had deemed him 'too old and inexperienced'.

"If Man United need players, they go and spend a lot of money on them rather than taking a chance on a 23-year-old novice from Ireland who had no grounding or background in soccer."

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