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Where are they now? Ireland's USA '94 World Cup squad

How many of Ireland’s 22-man squad can you remember and what are they doing now?


This article is a part of The42′s USA 94 Week, a special series of commemorative features to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Fifa World Cup. To read more from the series, click here >

Packie Bonner

Packie Bonner Republic of Ireland 1994 Source: © INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

The legendary Donegal goalkeeper was instrumental in qualification for the 1994 World Cup, but endured a frustrating tournament. Bonner kept two clean sheets in four games, but made a disastrous fumble against the Netherlands as Ireland exited 2-0 in the knockout stages. Now works as a technical advisor for Uefa on goalkeeping.

Denis Irwin

Denis Irwin and Zague Alves 1994 Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

A Manchester United icon, Irwin featured in the heroic 1-0 victory against Italy and the 2-1 defeat to Mexico in Orlando. He missed the 0-0 stalemate with Norway via suspension and was replaced by a 19-year-old Gary Kelly for the knockout stage exit against the Netherlands. Irwin has worked a variety of punditry roles for MUTV and RTÉ since retiring in 2004.

Terry Phelan

Ray Houghton Republic of Ireland v Italy 18/6/1994  World Cup Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Bizarrely was absent for the team photo at Giants Stadium against Italy because he was changing his boots. Missed the forgettable 0-0 against Norway via suspension but was otherwise ever-present in defence alongside Paul McGrath throughout the competition. Was appointed technical director at Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters and was briefly head coach in 2015.

Kevin Moran

Kevin Moran Source: INPHO

At 38 years old, Moran was selected by Jack Charlton just before his retirement from football. But the two-time All-Ireland winner and Man United legend did not play a minute at the World Cup due to injury. Set up Proactive Sports, a football agency, after retirement and now lives in Manchester where he retains a number of business interests.

Paul McGrath

Paul McGrath and Guisippe Signori 1994 Source: © INPHO

McGrath’s impenetrable performance at Giants Stadium is considered one of the all-time great individual displays by any Irish footballer, shackling Baggio, Donadoni and Signori with a heroic game at the back. Now enjoys a quiet life in Wexford, making regular appearances on TV and radio. The defender is a speaker before games at his beloved Aston Villa and documents his weekly golf excursions on his excellent Instagram account.

Roy Keane

Roy Keane leaves the field after the game Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

His one and only appearance at a World Cup for Ireland, a 22-year-old Keane started every game in the USA alongside Andy Townsend and Ray Houghton in midfield. Has gone into management with Sunderland, Aston Villa, Ireland, and most recently Nottingham Forest — the latter two gigs as assistant to Martin O’Neill. The pair helped the Boys in Green reach the knockout stages at Euro 2016. Was dismissed alongside O’Neill following a poor run of form at the end of last year. Occasional pundit on Sky Sports and ITV.

Andy Townsend

Andy Townsend Republic of Ireland World Cup 18/6/1994 Source: © Billy SticklandINPHO

Ireland’s captain during that memorable summer Stateside, Townsend led the Boys in Green through the ups and downs of the tournament in the middle of the park. With 70 caps to his name Townsend was inducted into the FAI’s Hall of Fame in 2015. Is now a pundit for BT Sport and is a voice in the commentary box for the popular Fifa video game series on PlayStation and Xbox.

Ray Houghton

Ray Houghton Source: INPHO

The hero of Giants Stadium, Houghton will forever be immortalised in the annals of Irish footballing history for his superb strike against the Italians in New Jersey. That win was the highpoint of the competition and marked one of the most famous moments for the sport in this country, a staple part of any Reeling in the Years programme or pre-game RTÉ montage. Now works as an FAI ambassador and co-commentator for the national broadcaster.

John Aldridge

A dejected John Aldridge 1994 Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

With Ireland, Norway, Mexico and Italy (incredibly) all finishing on the exact same points and the same goal difference, Aldridge’s late consolation goal off the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Mexico would prove absolutely crucial as Ireland finished second place in Group E. Unforgettably was involved in a touchline confrontation with a FIFA official who refused to allow Aldridge to be substituted on for Tommy Coyne. Now works as a commentator for Radio City in Liverpool and writes a column in the Sunday World.

John Sheridan

John Sheridan Ireland v Latvia 7/9/1994 Source: © James Meehan/INPHO

Played in all four games at the 1994 World Cup and hit the crossbar against Italy. Went into football management after his playing career came to an end in 2004 and has taken charge at clubs including Oldham, Chesterfield, Plymouth, Notts County, Fleetwood and Carlisle United.

Steve Staunton

Marc Overmars and Steve Staunton 1994 Source: INPHO

One of Ireland’s greatest-ever defenders, the Dundalk native is remembered for his short spell in charge of the national team where Ireland failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Took over as assistant manager at Leeds United and also briefly managed at Darlington. Now keeps a low profile alongside his work with the Staunton Foundation, which helps raise funds for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Gary Kelly

Gary Kelly and Brian Roy Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

One of Ireland’s ‘Three Amigos’ alongside Phil Babb Jason McAteer, a 19-year-old Kelly replaced suspended Denis Iwrin for Ireland’s draw with Norway. He also started the defeat to the Netherlands in the knockout stages. Kelly earned 52 caps in the green shirt between 1994 and 2002 and recently undertook his coaching badges with the FAI.

Alan Kernaghan

Alan Kernaghan Source: ©INPHO

Selected by Jack Charlton owing to Kernaghan’s Grandmother being an Irish citizen, the defender did not get a minute on the pitch in the United States. Went into football management and has enjoyed spells in charge of Clyde, Dundee, Brentford and, most recently, Glentoran up until 2016.

Phil Babb

Phil Babb 1994 Source: ©INPHO

Babb performed superbly alongside Paul McGrath in defence against Italy and started every single game at the tournament. Spent just under two years in charge of Conference side Hayes & Yeading United between 2013 and 2015 and can now works regularly as a pundit on Sky Sports.

Tommy Coyne

Tommy Coyne and Buarez 1994 Source: © INPHO

A late placement for the injured Niall Quinn, the popular forward started three out of four games and was instrumental in setting up Ray Houghan’s winner at Giants Stadium against Italy. Played so well Roberto Baggio wanted his shirt at the full-time whistle. Coyne managed at Clydebank and Bellshill Athletic in the early 2000s and now keeps a low profile.

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Tony Cascarino

Andy Townsend and Tony Cascarino 1994 Source: James Meehan/INPHO

‘Big Cas’ came on to replace Tommy Coyne for the final 20 minutes against the Netherlands before Ireland exited the competition in the knockout stages. Since retiring has become a semi-pro poker player, won Season 4 of Celebrity Bainisteoir and is a regular pundit for TalkSPORT and Sky Sports. Last year underwent brain surgery to remove a tumour and is now recovering well.

Eddie McGoldrick

Eddie McGoldrick Republic of Ireland 1994 Source: © INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

McGoldrick was on the bench for all four games but did not play at the tournament for Ireland in 1994. Since retiring in 2000 has gone into coaching and management, enjoying positions with Corby Town, Bashley and Northampton Town. Currently works as an Academy Coach with Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Ronnie Whelan

Ronnie Whelan 1994 Source: INPHO

A bonafide Ireland legend, Whelan got 15 minutes off the bench against Norway in the group stages but did not play any further part in Ireland’s World Cup in the USA. Would make two more appearances in 1995 before retiring from international football. Enjoyed a colourful management career in England, Cyprus and Greece. Now works as a commentator for RTÉ and can be heard on match-days alongside George Hamilton.

Alan McLoughlin

Alan McLoughlin 17/11/1993 Source: INPHO

Scored a crucial equaliser at Windsor Park against Northern Ireland in a 1-1 draw which (alongside Spain’s defeat of Denmark) was enough to book Ireland’s place at the World Cup. Was named in Jack Charlton’s 22-man squad for the tournament but didn’t play a minute on the pitch. McLoughlin successfully battled kidney cancer in 2012 and is currently a commentator at Portsmouth games for local radio station The Quay.

David Kelly

David Kelly Republic of Ireland v England 15/2/1995 Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Came on to replace John Aldridge against Norway in the group stages but did not play in any other game. Went into management following his retirement and has spent time with Tranmere, Preston, Derby, Nottingham Forest, Scunthorpe United and Port Vale. Kelly has spent years working with Show Racism the Red Card and has been inducted into the organisation’s Hall of Fame for his exceptional commitment to their campaigns.

Jason McAteer

Jason McAteer Republic of Ireland 1994 Source: © INPHO

Would play at two World Cups for Ireland, in 1994 and 2002, making his tournament debut off the bench in that famous victory against Italy. Came on against Mexico to set up John Aldridge’s header and started against Norway too. Was an assistant manager to John Barnes at Tranmere in 2009 and now works as an ambassador for Liverpool, regularly appearing in the club’s popular Legends games. McAteer helped organise Tsunami Soccer Aid in 2005, which helped raise over one million pounds.

Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly Republic of Ireland 1995 Source: © Lorraine O'SullivanINPHO

Back-up goalkeeper to Packie Bonner, Kelly would not see any action on the field in 1994. He would also be included in Mick McCarthy’s 2002 World Cup squad, where he was back-up to Shay Given. Has recently coached with both Preston and Everton and currently works as Ireland’s national goalkeeping coach.

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Aaron Gallagher

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