Sunday 17 December 2017

Where are they now?

Chris Morris

(Former Republic of Ireland defender)

Stuttgart will always hold a special place in the hearts of Irish football fans and for the players involved in that first odyssey the memories are vivid.

Chris Morris played an important role in the unforgettable victory over England and he recalls the atmosphere around him in the build-up.

"Euro '88 was a fantastic time. I remember particularly before the first game I was under the spotlight in the English media. They were trying to do a psychological number on me. John Barnes had a fantastic season and they were trying to set me up a little bit. It was a tough challenge and I was keen to respond to it."

On the pitch, the challenge was no less difficult but he rose to it in the same way. "It was an amazing opportunity and the game in Stuttgart was incredible. We scored early, had fantastic support and rode our luck a little bit but it was a brilliant result in the history of Irish football."

The full-back had to retire aged just 33 in 1997 after a succession of knee problems. Initially, he was involved in a property development company before moving back home to help out in the family business Morris Cornish Pasties, which is now run by his son Chris. He has been drawn back into the sport he loves.

"Two or three years ago, I decided I wanted to coach and I've been working towards getting my coaching badges. Hopefully this year I will have my UEFA A Licence. I coach full-time at the football academy of Bodmin College and I also work in the Exeter City Centre of Excellence. I'm there three or four times a week and I love it."

Morris believes that qualifying for Euro 2012 ranks alongside any of the achievements of the storied teams that have gone before.

"They have a fighting chance but it's a hugely daunting task. The side has a lot going for it, especially in terms of togetherness and belief and the effect of that on players can be enormous. There are no major superstars on the team but some good players. It's never going to be easy at this level of competition but Ireland never do it the easy way.

"It never leaves you. Whenever you watch Ireland play, inevitably it takes you back. I was proud to represent the country and I would love to see the current crop emulate and better the achievements of the past."

Sunday Indo Sport

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport