While it’s not necessarily a football superpower, football is among the most-played sports in Ireland, and as such, it often produces players that stand out. The latest such player to join the Spurs is Troy Parrott, a promising youngster liked by manager Mauricio Pochettino, who’s been recently selected for the Champions League squad after proving his worth while playing with Ireland’s youth teams. He is, in turn, just the latest in a series of Irishmen strengthening the ranks of the Spurs over the years. Let us remember some of them today.
Born and raised in Essex, he joined the Spurs at the age of 13 and didn’t leave until he turned 34. He started his senior career as a winger, becoming a full back and later, a left-back. During his 13 years with the team, he played in 398 games (297 league games) and scored 19 goals. He is considered to this day one of the best full-backs ever to have played at the club.
After leaving the Spurs, he had two brief spells with West Ham and Brentford before retiring from active duty. He returned to the Spurs as a coach in 1993, and stayed with the team for 14 more years, serving under 11 different managers, from Keith Burkinshaw to Martin Jol, and as a caretaker manager on two separate occasions.
The nine years Tony Galvin was part of the Spurs will always be remembered fondly by the fans and the players alike. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1978 but made his debut in 1979. In the next two years, he became regular at the Spurs’ games, beloved for his strength and accuracy of crosses. He was part of the most successful Spurs squad in the 1980s that won the FA Cup two years in a row, and the UEFA Cup in 1984. He left the Spurs in 1987, sold by manager David Pleat.
Keane was a prolific forward before joining the Spurs in 2002. Upon signing him, manager Glenn Hoddle expected White Hart Lane to become Keane’s “spiritual home” – and, it seems, he was right. Keane spent six seasons with the Spurs during his first spell, playing in 197 league games and scoring 80 times, becoming the team’s top goalscorer in his first season (including a hat-trick in a home win against Everton). He has proven his worth in the coming years, becoming the overall top goalscorer of the Premier League in 2007, and winning three consecutive Player of the Year awards while there.
At the end of the 2007-2008 season, he was signed by Liverpool in a transfer worth £20.3 million. He returned to the Spurs a year later, staying with the club for two more seasons (and two loan spells) before moving overseas to play for LA Galaxy.