Dublin: 3°C Thursday 9 December 2021

Villa fans will pay tribute to 'God' tomorrow for Paul McGrath Day

“The best ever to wear the claret and blue.”

Paul McGrath is the King of Villa Park. Still.
Paul McGrath is the King of Villa Park. Still.
Image: EMPICS Sport

EVERY IRISH FOOTBALL fan knows that Paul McGrath was one of the very best defenders of the modern era, but do we really appreciate just how good he actually was?

Aston Villa supporters certainly seem to. Tomorrow, for their final game of the Premier League season at home to Burnley, the Villa faithful will pay tribute to the Dubliner.

Why? It’s not his birthday, an anniversary or anything of the sort. They just want to ‘salute a true legend, ooh aah Paul McGrath, aka God’, according to Villa fan Andy Bishop.

Aston Villa fans are calling tomorrow ‘Paul McGrath Day’ and they’re urging fellow supporters to come along to Villa Park to honour a player who made over 250 appearances for the Birmingham club between 1989 and ’96.

“Irish Lions amongst other Villa overseas supporters are here for the game and the interest in McGrath Day says a lot about the man and the fans’ respect of Macca. Not many players still get their name chanted at Villa Park years after leaving, but ‘God’ does,” Andy Bishop told the Birmingham Mail.

“It unites the older supporters with the younger fans and gives some deserved acclaim to a hero widely acknowledged as the best post-war player, maybe ever for this club.”

Bishop wants fans to wear McGrath Villa shirts, Ireland shirts and masks, and to bring balloons and banners along to the game.


Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

Fans are also being encouraged to belt out McGrath’s signature chants: ‘Paul McGrath, My Lord, Paul McGrath’ and ‘Ooh aah Paul McGrath, say ooh aah Paul McGrath’.

11270529_977011748990464_6942597049753228233_o Source: Facebook

During his time with Villa, McGrath was named PFA Player of the Year in 1993. He also helped the club to League Cup successes in ’94 and ’96.

Villa fans certainly appear to be getting behind Paul McGrath Day, if some of the comments on supporters’ Facebook page ‘We’re Aston Villa’ are anything to go by. Here’s a selection:

“I’ve seen some great players at the Villa since I started going in the mid 70s but Macca is without doubt the best I have ever seen. His reading of the game was incredible.”
“Not ‘one of the best’ but THE BEST ever. GOD.”
“It’s ridiculous he isn’t mentioned in more best ever Premier League teams by former players. Easily one of the best.”
“God of the Holte End. THE best ever to wear the claret and blue.”

McGrath also won 83 caps for the Republic of Ireland and played in two World Cups, before retiring from football in 1997.

H/T: Gavin McKenna

Bohemians capture the mood of the nation on a momentous day for Ireland

Kevin Doyle is set for his Rapids debut versus the Whitecaps today

About the author:

Paul Dollery

Read next: