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Everything you wanted to know about Noel King but were afraid to ask

Including his four stints with Shamrock Rovers, beating Italy away and fond memories in the north of France.

Noel King enjoys a coconut at Maracas Bay, Trinidad in 2010.
Noel King enjoys a coconut at Maracas Bay, Trinidad in 2010.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

THE FAI ANNOUNCED on Monday night that Noel King had been temporarily promoted from U21 boss to Ireland’s ‘interim senior manager’.

Ray Houghton and Ruud Dokter, the association’s High Performance Director, have been told to find the best man for the job recently vacated by Giovanni Trapattoni. However, with World Cup qualification a distant, dashed hope, the duo will take their time in appointing a successor.

Ireland’s final qualifiers take place next month and the next fixture lined up is a friendly with Serbia in March 2014. The FAI will hope to have a suitable candidate in place by then but if they choose to wait until the end of the current season, Irish football fans may be seeing a lot of King.

Here are some handy facts and tales, just in case you find your Noel King general knowledge tested today.

He made his footballing debut with Home Farm

King, as a flinty chiseller of 16, appeared for the League of Ireland side from 1973 to 1977 and had another stint with them as the 80s were ushered in.

The coaching bug bit early

By the time King returned to Shamrock Rovers for his second spell, he had earned an FAI coaching badge and was brought in as a player-coach. He won two league titles and an FAI Cup with the Hoops.

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Looking spiffy in his Rovers kit. INPHO/Billy Stickland

In France, they call him ‘Roi’

Valenciennes are in France’s Ligue 1 now but when King played for them, in 1985, they were in the second division. He played seven times for the club and coached their youth team before Derry City lured him back to Ireland.

He returned to Rovers as the wandering began

King became the Shamrock Rovers manager in 1988 and inherited a club in crisis. Glenmalure Park, in Milltown, was sold from under them by Louis Kilcoyne. A rambling, homeless Rovers played at Dalymount Park and the RDS but a barren trophy run was their lot under King as many top players moved on to greener, settled pastures.

He had successful in a care-taking role before

With Shelbourne boss Dermot Keely on medical rest, King came in and successfully guided the team to a league title in 2001.

A decade coaching Ireland senior women’s team

King’s brief included underage Ireland team’s but his main focus was on the senior women’s team. He took the posting in 2000 and came within a playoff game, against Iceland in 2009, of reaching the European Championships.

He loves a good coconut

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Ain’t no stopping King as he enjoys a ripe coconut in 2010. INPHO/JamesCrombie

He has coached Coleman, Brady and McCarthy

King has been the U21 boss for three years and has coached senior stars such Seamus Coleman, Robbie Brady and James McCarthy. His best result during his term in charge was a 4 — 2 away win over Italy in September 2012.

Footballing talent runs in the family

Brian King played League of Ireland football for clubs such as UCD and Drogheda United.

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King Jr. in action for UCD in 2008. INPHO/Morgan Treacy

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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