Tony dunne

Ireland, Man. Utd.’s Dunne dead at 78

Tony Dunne.

By Sean Creedon

Former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland defender Tony Dunne has died at the age of 78.

Dunne was a part of the United team who won the European Cup in 1968 and made 535 appearances for the Manchester club over 13 years from 1960 to 1973, the eight most in the storied history of the club.

The Dubliner was named Irish Footballer of the Year in 1969 and played with Shelbourne before joining the Red Devils. After making his full international debut against Austria in April 1962 he won 33 caps and captained his country on four occasions.

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He joined Bolton after leaving United, before a stint with Detroit Express in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1979.

As well as winning the FAI Cup during his playing years in the Irish league, he won the FA Cup, the English first division on two occasions, as well as the second division. Matt Busby’s 1968 team became the first English team to win the European Cup, beating Benica 4-1 at Wembley.

It was a team full of Irish connections: Dunne played at left fullback, while his Republic colleague the late Shay Brennan, born in Manchester and the first player to qualify under the parentage rule, was at right fullback; Scotland’s Pat Crerand was the son of Donegal immigrants; while Nobby Stiles was married to former United and then Leeds and Ireland star John Giles’s sister; and not forgetting Northern Ireland superstar George Best, who scored the first of United’s three goals in extra time.

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