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Becoming friends with Christy Moore and making up with Alex Ferguson after upsetting Man United exit

Paul McGrath was a guest on RTÉ Radio 1′s ‘Des’s Island Discs.’

Paul McGrath says he became friends with Christy Moore after meeting him in Crumlin.
Paul McGrath says he became friends with Christy Moore after meeting him in Crumlin.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND legend Paul McGrath spoke about his friendship with Christy Moore and the disappointing end to his time at Man United on RTÉ Radio 1 earlier this evening.

McGrath was speaking as a guest on Des Cahill’s show, ‘Des’s Island Discs.’ The former Red Devils and Aston Villa star selected three songs which are dear to him, while also reminiscing about his football career.

One of the songs which featured on the show was ‘Joxer Goes to Stuttgart,’ a famous tune by Christy Moore about an Irish fan who travels to support Ireland at Euro ’88.

McGrath explains that he became friends with the Irish folk singer after meeting him in Crumlin.

“I’ve known Christy for a number of years,” McGrath begins.

“He came over to watch my son Jordan play his first football game when he was staying over with us in Manchester.

“He just became such a great friend over the years. He’s someone I loved even before I went out to live in Crumlin for a while with my Mum. Christy lived out that way and I was just amazed to see him walking along the road, thinking ‘hang on, that’s Christy Moore walking passed me.’

“I was playing with Dalkey at the time and I was just amazed to see him strolling around.

We became good friends. When I went off to Manchester United and got a bit more known, I got brave enough to ask for a couple of tickets to a gig of his.”

Later in the show, McGrath recalls the upsetting nature of his departure from Manchester United under then manager Alex Ferguson.

He says he was released from the club after making a request to increase his wages but has since made peace with Ferguson.

“I asked for wages that were comparable with some of the top players that were at United,” McGrath explains. “I went into Sir Alex and I asked for a little bit more in my wage packet. But I never asked to leave Manchester United, I loved it when I was there. 

“I was [hurt by that]. I was given orders that I wasn’t allowed to talk to the press. And yet there were articles coming out saying that I wanted to leave the club. I never said that once so that kind of stung me.

Myself and Sir Alex made up years later. He’s been nothing but good to me even since I finished football. I have no bitterness there.” 

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U2′s ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers were the other songs chose by McGrath.

Des’s Island Discs is aired on RTÉ Radio 1 from Monday to Friday at 6.30pm

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