Big Sam can complete unique Limerick ‘hat-trick’

Sam Allardyce

SHOULD Sam Allardyce be announced as England manager, as widely predicted, it will see three former Limerick soccer players taking on the role of international team manager in the countries of their birth.

First was Eoin Hand, who brought the city club their second League of Ireland title, and was rewarded with his appointment as manager of the Republic of Ireland from 1979 to 1983.

In 1987, Limerick offered the role of player-manager to former Northern Ireland striker Billy Hamilton, and he brought with him, wing-back, Brian Flynn, as his assistant.

Flynn, a fully-fledged Wales international, later returned home and went on to manage his country, albeit in a caretaker capacity.

He went on to became an integral part of their coaching set-up and is credited with developing the talents of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen, who played such a prominent role in their country’s outstanding performance in the recent European championship.

It is now left to Allardyce, who served as player-manager of Limerick from 1991 to 1992 making 23 appearances and scoring three goals, to complete the hat-trick.

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by John O’Shaughnessy