Tuesday 12 November 2019

'McGrath had bigger impact for Ireland than Keane, he should be No 1'

Should Paul McGrath have been No 1 ahead of Roy Keane? That is the theme of the ongoing discussion on the Irish Independent's top 50 footballers of the last 50 years Legends magazine.

Keane was rated as the best by our panel, with his achievements for both club and country recognised. The Corkman won seven league titles with Manchester United, while McGrath's club success was limited to cup joy. Some readers, though, feel his Irish displays should take precedence.

The interactive magazine can still be accessed at


and it includes archive footage of the players, some classic old photographs and our panellists discussing the leading performers in more detail.

The online mag also provides the opportunity for readers to vote for their best Irish XI of 1962-2012. And you can tweet our sportsdesk @IndoSport to extend the debate. We can also be contacted via e-mail at sportmail@independent.ie or via post at Soccer Legends, Irish Independent, 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1.

Here are a selection of your comments on the top spot . . .

It's a little bizarre that Paul McGrath doesn't top this poll considering the Black Pearl's performances at Euro 88, Italia 90 and USA 94 as well as every competitive game he ever played for Ireland. There can be little doubt that McGrath had more of an impact for Ireland than Keane did

– James Clancy

Paul McGrath was by far greater than Roy, he painfully gave everything for his country whilst the other moaned about a bumpy pitch and stuck his two fingers up and walked away!

– John

Congrats Roy. You stood by your principles. Professional to your fingertips. I remember meeting you in Rotterdam airport after the disastrous draw with Holland after being two goals up. I said to you that you were in a different world to the rest of the team. They were thrilled to get the draw, you were incensed. You were used to winning, they were happy to turn up. Well done kid

– Kutdkrap

Agree on having Keane on top. He is our most decorated player of recent history

– Ciaran Carr

Irish Independent

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