Sammy McIlroy will for always be remembered for his time at Old Trafford and of course his FA Cup winners medal from 1977. He was also in the runners-up teams in 1976 and 1979.
From his debut in 1971 vs. Man City scoring in the 3-3 draw to eleven years later being sold to Stoke for a fee of £350.000. He also played in two World Cup tournemants with Northern Ireland.
To describe Sammy McIlroy in a total perspective is difficult but his presence was huge both as a player and person. Being part of a big tournaround in the days of Tommy Docherty he really took on his role from a midfield position.
The signings of Ray Wilkins and Bryan Robson became really the end for Sammy McIlroy as his place in the team no longer was safe and both Dave Sexton and Ron Atkinson never really trusted the player that by many was a key to so many great moments.
After Man Utd returned to top flight football he was part of good results as we did document in the FA Cup but also seeing 3rd in 75/76, 6th in 76/77, 10th in 77/78, 9th in 78/79, 2nd in 79/80, 8th in 80/81 and in his final season ending 3rd. In total 342 league games and 57 goals, respectful and top stats for a midfielder.
After leaving Man Utd for Stoke he did continue to deliver good displays and added up 133 league games for The Potters. After moving from Man Utd and probably believed his best days in the game was gone new highlighst appeared. World Cup qualification both to Spain in 82 and Mexico in 86 happened.
He was at Stoke in 82 and strangely enough when 86 came around representing Man City joining in 85. In total capped 88 times scoring 5 goals. He was also in the team that won the last Home International in 84.
Going in to his 30’s he moved down the tiers and played for Bury, Preston and Northwich. He also had short spells in Sweden and Austria during his playing years journey.
His presence as a player was huge and from there he went into management. First at Northwich and then being the face for seven years at Macclesfield, taking hte club in to League football. Three yeras in charge of Northern Ireland never really became a succes and he then had jobs ta Stockport and Morecambe.
He left his manager post at Morecambe in 2011 and since been in and out of football as stories of his life often comes to surface among newspapers and journalists wanting to share a bit of his football library of adventures.
His new and fresh released autobiography is out now and of course for fans of a football a must read and a special book of a special life in the game, being at all stages of the game played.
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