class of 88

Where are they now? Ireland's Euro '88 squad

How many of Ireland’s 20-man squad can you remember and what are they doing now?

SOME OF THE players below you may be all too familiar with, but what happened to the rest of the class of 1988?

Packie Bonner

Ireland’s first-choice goalkeeper performed admirably in the 1-0 win over England, but enjoyed much more acclaim two years later for his heroics in the penalty shootout victory over Romania which helped to send Ireland into the World Cup quarter-finals.

Bonner now combines his role as a consultant with Uefa with punditry work in the UK.

© Billy Stickland / INPHO © Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Gerry Peyton

Back in 1988, only two goalkeepers were taken to a tournament, and Peyton was Bonner’s understudy in Germany. With no goalkeeping coach, Peyton had a crucial role to play in the squad.

The former Bournemouth man has enjoyed a successful career in coaching since retiring, and has been the Arsenal goalkeeping coach since 2003.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Chris Morris

The former Celtic defender, who qualified to play for Ireland through his Monaghan-born mother, started all three of Ireland’s group matches at right-back.

He has since taken over his father’s pie shop, selling Cornish pasties, and has expanded the business with several franchises.


Chris Hughton

Hughton, the current Brighton manager, featured in all three of Ireland’s group matches.

Capped 53 times, he was appointed as Brian Kerr’s assistant manager in 2003.

It wasn’t until 2009 that the former Tottenham Hotspur coach finally got his break as a first-team manager with Newcastle, and he led them to promotion to the Premier League in 2010.


Mick McCarthy

The former Ireland captain has endured mixed spells during his time in management with promotion from the Championship with Sunderland and Wolves tinged with relegations from the Premier League.

The 57-year-old has enjoyed relative success with Ipswich Town, operating on a shoe-string budget in comparison to some of their promotion rivals.

The former Lyon defender almost led the Tractor Boys to promotion in 2015 but defeat to rivals Norwich in the play-offs scuppered their Premier League aspirations.

McCarthy has spoken about a desire to one day return as Ireland manager, after he famously guided the Boys in Green to the World Cup in 2002, where he fell out with Roy Keane.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Kevin Moran

An All-Ireland winner with Dublin, Moran enjoyed a hugely successful career in both GAA and football.

Moran partnered McCarthy in the heart of Ireland’s defence for all three group games in Euro 88 but he soon left Manchester United for Sporting Gijon, before retiring at Blackburn Rovers.

Having recently turned 60, Moran can still be seen doing some punditry work while he also has a stake in a sports management company in the UK.


Ronnie Whelan

Whelan is one of only three Irish goalscorers at a European Championship, but his acrobatic finish against the USSR is perhaps the most spectacular.

His management career post-retirement in England, Greece and Cyprus pales into comparison to his playing days when he enjoyed great success with Liverpool.

Whelan will be part of RTÉ’s commentary team for the upcoming European Championships having been a regular on the station for the past decade.

© INPHO / Billy Stickland © INPHO / Billy Stickland / Billy Stickland

Paul McGrath 

One of Ireland’s greatest-ever players.

Having played in midfield in the opening two matches of Euro 88, his greatest performance in an Irish jersey came in the Giants Stadium in New York in the World Cup six years later.

But that performance was far from a one-off and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame last year.

Having spent a brief spell as Director of Football at League of Ireland side Waterford United, McGrath now combines working with several charities with various media appearances.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Ray Houghton

The Glasgow-born midfielder was responsible for some of the greatest moments in Irish sport with his goal against England in 1988 almost matched by his strike against Italy in New York in 1994.

Houghton was part of the three-man committee, along with Don Givens and Don Howe, that recommended Giovanni Trapattoni as the new Ireland manager.

The former Liverpool midfielder now works as an analyst for Talksport and Sky Sports in the UK as well as RTÉ here in Ireland.

© Billy Stickland / INPHO © Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

John Aldridge

The former Liverpool striker started all three games in Germany but it wasn’t until later that year in a friendly against Tunisia that Aldridge got his first goal in green – on his 21st cap.

Aldridge later had a spell in Spain with Real Sociedad before moving to Tranmere Rovers where he ended up working as a player-manager. However relegation in 2001 from League One saw him end his 10-year association with the Merseyside-based club.

The 57-year-old now works as a pundit on local radio in Liverpool as well as Liverpool’s in-house TV channel.

© Billy Stickland / INPHO © Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Frank Stapleton

Only Niall Quinn and Robbie Keane have scored more goals for Ireland than Stapleton, but neither he or his strike partner Aldridge found the back of the net in Euro 88.

The former Arsenal man spent a period as player-manager with Bradford City in England’s lower leagues before a brief spell stateside with MLS club New England Revolution. More recently, Stapleton worked as a forwards coach with Bolton Wanderers under Sam Allardyce and as an assistant manager with Ray Wilkins with the Jordan national team.

The 59-year-old is now part of the scouting team for Martin O’Neill as well as still working as a pundit for various media outlets.

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Tony Galvin

The Huddersfield-born winger spent the majority of his career with Tottenham Hotspur where he won back-to-back FA Cups as well as the Uefa Cup in 1984.

Galvin started all three group games before retiring from international football a year later, and has a degree in Russian Studies which he put to good use as a language lecturer in the UK.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Tony Cascarino

Although questions still arise over Cascarino’s eligibility to play for Ireland, the truth is that the former Chelsea man was always qualified to play.

The former Marseille and Nancy striker discovered midway through his international career that his mother was adopted and as such her biological father was not from Mayo, but the adoption law states that Cascarino was eligable.

His international career spanned 14 years, 88 caps and 19 goals but he could only manage two late substitute appearances during Euro 88.

As well as becoming a semi-professional poker player and pundit, the former Celtic striker’s autobiography, ghostwritten by Paul Kimmage, is regarded as one of the best sports books of recent times.

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Liam O’Brien

The former Shamrock Rovers player failed to feature at the tournament but did manage to win 16 caps during his international career.

O’Brien has had coaching spells with Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers, as well as in Scotland with Hibernian alongside Pat Fenlon. He is currently part of Harry Kenny’s coaching staff at struggling Bray Wanderers.


David Kelly

Birmingham-born Kelly was another player who failed to feature over the course of the tournament, despite scoring a hat-trick on his international debut against Israel the previous year.

In fact, Kelly’s most famous goal for Ireland didn’t count, as it came in the abandoned England friendly back in 1995.

The former Derry City striker spent time working as a coach under Billy Davies at various clubs including Motherwell, Derby County and Nottingham Forest and was sacked earlier this year by Scunthorpe United along with manager Mark Robins.

Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

Kevin Sheedy

Sheedy featured in all three of Ireland’s matches but his greatest moment was to come in Italy two years later, when he scored the equaliser against England in the World Cup.

His 10 years at Everton, where he won the league twice, the FA Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup, was followed by spells at Newcastle United and Blackpool.

The Welsh-born midfielder has recently overcome bowel cancer and is a coach at Everton’s Academy.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

John Byrne

The former QPR striker was unfortunate not to feature in the first two tournaments Ireland had qualified for, despite being in named in both squads.

Byrne played for a host of English clubs including York City and QPR as well as Le Harve in France.

Although still involved in football with various media commitments, Byrne has since qualified as a specialist podiatrist.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

John Sheridan

The Stretford-born midfielder was a squad member for Ireland’s first three major tournaments but didn’t feature in 1988.

Sheridan is one of only a handful of active Irish managers in the UK and was recently appointed as the new manager of League Two side Notts County after spells in charge of Chesterfield, Plymouth Argyle, Newport County and Oldham Athletic twice.

© Billy Stickland / INPHO © Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

John Anderson

The Dubliner enjoyed the most successful period of his career with Newcastle United but failed to get any minutes during the tournament in 1988.

Now 56, Anderson commentates on Newcastle matches on local radio as well as doing some matches for Today FM in Ireland.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Niall Quinn

The former Sunderland striker’s only performance in 88 came as a second-half substitute against England in the opening match but he went on to feature in two World Cups, in 1990 and again in 2002, with injury ruling him out of the 1994 tournament.

At one stage after his retirement, Quinn was a part-owner, chairman and manager of Sunderland before dramatically offering Roy Keane his first job in management.

The 49-year-old is a regular contributor on Sky Sports and owns and runs the satellite internet company, Q Sat.

Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

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