Liam Brady: I came close to joining Man United
Liam Brady has revealed how he came close to joining Manchester United after the club offered his mother a washing machine as part of the deal.
The former Ireland midfielder held talks with the club before deciding on a move to Arsenal in 1973.
The 61-year-old, who spent seven years at Arsenal during which time he won the FA Cup, recalled yesterday how his path might have led him to Manchester.
"I nearly went to Manchester United as a kid," Brady explained. "Their scout here was a guy called Billy Behan and, because I was a Manchester United fan, he thought I was nailed on.
"Then I went to London and Arsenal liked me and they looked after me. Manchester United actually offered my mother a washing machine for me to go there, but my mind was made up and a washing machine wasn't going to change it.
"She actually did (try to persuade me). Now a kid gets a house and a car and his father gets a job for life."
Arsenal go in search of a record 13th FA Cup success on Saturday but calls for Arsene Wenger to leave the club continue after the Gunners missed out on qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
Brady also recalled how Wenger told him that Luis Suarez would join Arsenal three years ago before the Uruguayan moved to Barcelona.
"Arsene Wenger was sure he was going to get Suarez - he actually told me that Suarez would be arriving in the next couple of weeks," Brady said.
"I don't know why it didn't happen but if we're going to be competitive, those things have to be put right. It could have made all the difference. There are not many centre-forwards like him around, if any."
Brady, who played in three FA Cup finals and claimed his winner's medal in 1979, admitted that the competition doesn't hold as much importance nowadays.
"To win a Cup in my day, you would be remembered forever," he added. "The fans would remember a cup-winning team. I don't think the Cup has that importance any more although Chelsea will be determined to complete the double on Saturday."
Brady was in Dublin along with Gary Pallister to announce details of Manchester United's friendly against Sampdoria at the Aviva Stadium on August 2. Tickets, which start at €40, will go on sale via Ticketmaster.ie on Friday from 11am.
Meanwhile, Preston North End's Alan Browne has been added Ireland's squad for the forthcoming friendlies. The former Cork City midfielder made 35 appearances for Preston this season.
Elsewhere, Enda Stevens has left Portsmouth to join Sheffield United, who have given him a two-year-contract.