"Around Cork, the story is that the young Keane wrote to all the English First Division clubs requesting a trial--all, that is, except Manchester United because he apparently thought he was not good enough."
One look at the 1999 treble winners and the pivotal roles of Dennis Irwin and Roy Keane reminds us that the "Irish connection" with Manchester United has been a part of every successful Reds team since Matt Busby's built a European Cup winning side on the skills of Harry Gregg, Tony Dunne and George Best in the 1960s.
Award-winning BBC Northern Ireland journalist and lifelong Utd fan Chris Moore looks at the contribution that Irish players have made to the success of England's biggest club, focusing on his own fantasy 11 of Irish Reds: Gregg, Nichol, Irwin, Moran, McGrath, Dunne, McIlroy, Keane, Best, Stapleton and Whiteside.
In exclusive interviews with each of the 11, Moore reflects on Utd's history and the personal stories behind the public triumphs and disasters, asking what it is about the club that makes it "Ireland's team" and inspires players and fans alike to carry their loyalties over the Irish Sea to Manchester.
Part celebration, part critical history, United Irishmen is an enjoyable and thoughtful tribute to the emeralds in United's crown and a welcome addition to the ever growing Reds library.--Alex Hankin
--This text refers to an alternate