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The Heroes of Italia 90 - Where are they now?


David O'Leary

David O'Leary

15 November 1989; Paul McGrath and Kevin Moran, Republic of Ireland, celebrate qualification for the 1990 World Cup Finals after defeating Malta in Malta. Soccer. Picture credit; Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

15 November 1989; Paul McGrath and Kevin Moran, Republic of Ireland, celebrate qualification for the 1990 World Cup Finals after defeating Malta in Malta. Soccer. Picture credit; Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

Mick McCarthy with Kevin Moran

Mick McCarthy with Kevin Moran

John Sheridan

John Sheridan

Ronnie Whelan

Ronnie Whelan

Gerry Peyton

Gerry Peyton


David O'Leary

Where are the heroes that reached the last eight of the 1990 World Cup?

Packie Bonner

He tried TV presenting while serving as a goalkeeper coach with the senior squad and then delved into the politics of the FAI, where he became technical director until leaving the post in 2010 after eight years with the association. Based in Glasgow, he was more recently involved in the establishment of a UEFA goalkeeping diploma.

Chris Morris

The right-full, a recruit under the granny rule, returned home to Cornwall, where he finished his football career and joined the family business - the cooking up of Cornish pasties. Earlier this year, the local newspaper described him as a 'huge contributor to both local life and football' on account of both his culinary endeavours and his coaching work at Bodwin College.

Steve Staunton

Unfortunately, a new generation associate Staunton with his brief tenure as Ireland manager, which turned out to be a bad move from the FAI. In time, he will hopefully be remembered as a quality player. He now lives in the English midlands and has been doing scouting work for Southampton.

Mick McCarthy

The definition of a football man and he has stayed in the game since his playing days ended, learning on the job as Ireland boss until the tumult of 2002 and bringing that experience in the club sphere, where he's still working wonders and brought Ipswich to the Championship play-offs this season. It's quite likely that his Irish story has another chapter in it.

Kevin Moran

Like the majority of his colleagues, the oldest member of the squad - who turns 60 next year - became a consistent presence on TV screens. Yet his main work in the sport is behind the scenes where he qualified as a football agent and represented Irish stars such as Richard Dunne, Steve Finnan and John O'Shea. He's retained a good relationship with the latter in tandem with other business interests.

Ronnie Whelan

Dabbled with management for a while, starting at Southend before stints in Greece and Cyprus, before moving full-time into the media world - you can read his work in the Evening Herald and see him regularly. Also does work for Liverpool TV and on the after-dinner/legends circuit.

Paul McGrath

McGrath has endured hard times in the public eye, with the destructive impact of his alcoholism laid out in his superb autobiography Back From the Brink. He has been through a lot but is now a resident of Wexford, a columnist with the Sunday World and a familiar face in his community. His Twitter bio says: 'One day at a time.'

Ray Houghton

He has plenty of stories to tell from starring in unforgettable golden moments and the affable Glaswegian remains immersed in the game and has made a living from a variety of media gigs in addition to doing ambassadorial work with the FAI and being involved in the process of headhunting and interviewing prospective Irish bosses.

John Aldridge

Moved into management at Tranmere and brought the club to a League Cup final before getting involved with a pub in his native Liverpool called 'Aldo's Place.' He's another regular with the Anfield club's TV station and his thoughts can be read in the Sunday World. His moving reflections on the Hillsborough disaster struck a chord for the 25th anniversary.

Tony Cascarino

His excellent book 'Full Time' opened a window to a colourful character with a sharp mind and that's made him a hit with newspaper editors as well as radio and TV producers. Cascarino is a gambler who plays poker to a high level - he has collected substantial cheques from the competitive card-playing circuit.

Kevin Sheedy

Sheedy is an Everton legend and it was fitting when he joined the Toffees' academy in 2006, where he has progressed to become the manager of their U-18 side. Bowel cancer runs in his family and he successfully battled the disease in 2012, crediting early detection as the reason.

David O'Leary

Looked set to become a major star in the dug-out when his Leeds 'babies' took Europe by storm but his standing was weakened by an autobiographical account of a turbulent period for the club, in the aftermath of the high-profile trial of two of his players. He struggled at Aston Villa and his last gig was a lucrative spell in Dubai which culminated with an abrupt dismissal and his collection of a £3.4m compensation claim.

Andy Townsend

He was a fixture at ITV where he temporarily manned a 'Tactics Truck' when they held the rights for Premier League highlights and he remains a regular contributor to their output as a co-commentator, although his contractual situation has changed. The 51-year-old has worked as a consultant for a property company.

Chris Hughton

The left-full served his apprenticeship in the managerial sphere by working as assistant to other bosses, including Brian Kerr at Ireland, before branching out in his own and carving a good reputation in the game - especially with a dignified stint at Newcastle. After a sour ending at Norwich, he was hired by Brighton last New Year's Eve.

Bernie Slaven

Cascarino hilariously detailed how Slaven missed his dogs during Italia 90 and was keen to get home for a reunion. The Scottish-born attacker is indelibly associated with Middlesbrough, where he is a local media personality - he ran a campaign for mayor in 2002 which didn't end with election. If you need to know more, try bernieslaven.co.uk.

John Sheridan

Until last week, the talented No 10 was flying the flag for Irish managers in the English leagues along with McCarthy and Hughton. But Plymouth announced that Sheridan, their boss since January 2013, had opted to depart for family reasons. He's earned his keep in the lower leagues, having previously held the reins at Oldham and Chesterfield.

Niall Quinn

He saw football from another side as chairman of Sunderland, where he famously hired Roy Keane along with the Drumaville consortium. Left in 2012 to concentrate on family and business interests and established a satellite broadband company Qsat. Sky employ him as a pundit and accounts filed in late 2014 detailed that the accumulated profits of Niall Quinn Media Services for 2013 stood at €692,660.

Frank Stapleton

Past his best when Italia 90 came around but a serious operator at his peak. Stapleton gave managing a bash with Bradford and New England Revolution in the '90s and then joined the punditry masses. In recent years, the FAI used him as a scout in the North-West. Last September, he linked up with the Jordan national side as assistant to Ray Wilkins on a short team deal.

David Kelly

As he explains in the accompanying piece, 'Ned' concluded that he was perfectly suited to functioning as an assistant boss and he has fulfilled that role with Tranmere, Preston, Derby and Nottingham Forest, primarily working with Billy Davies. He's now the understudy to Mark Robins at League One Scunthorpe.

John Byrne

He relocated from Le Havre to Brighton in 1990 and, while he was the star of Sunderland's charge to the FA Cup final in 1992, he went back to the south coast to work part time for Radio Sussex on Brighton home matches. But after exploring other professions, he now earns his keep as a podiatrist - in other words, a foot doctor.

Alan McLoughlin

His legacy will be the goal that booked the flight to USA 94. In 1990, he was the man who replaced Gary Waddock at the last minute. McLoughlin retained a strong association with Portsmouth and quit media work in the area to join the staff in 2011, graduating to assistant manager last year until he was ironically replaced by Waddock, who has since departed. He's another cancer survivor who had a kidney removed in 2012.

Gerry Peyton

The back-up netminder also turns 60 in 2016 and after trying his hand in Japan and Sweden, he has stayed on the scene as a goalkeeping coach and is a part of the furniture at Arsenal after moving across the capital from Fulham in 2003 to become a member of Arsene Wenger's backroom team.

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