Irish Soccer's Most Memorable Moments No 16: Brady's Debut, 1974
Number 16 and we have our second moment dedicated to Liam Brady on our countdown.
The reason Liam Brady’s debut against the mighty USSR in this World Cup qualifying group match pips Given’s hat-trick is because it was Brady’s first appearance for Ireland and the far more seminal event.
There can be no debate over Ireland’s three greatest natural midfielders - John Giles, Roy Keane and Liam Brady.
This was a typical passing the torch moment, player manager John Giles decided to drop deep and let the young eighteen-year old debutant Brady dictate the play. Dictate he did and Ireland out passed the heavily-fancied USSR side with Don Givens scoring a hat-trick.
Recently John Giles referenced the performance when asked by the Irish Examiner if James McClean was ready for this summer’s tournament “You talk about young lads. Liam [Brady] played his first international against the USSR at 18 and he was like a duck to water."
Ireland would miss out on qualification that campaign, squeezed out by the powerhouses of France and USSR, but we now had a midfielder that was of the highest calibre that would don the Irish jersey until the Charlton era.
Here’s a good video tribute to one of Ireland’s most gifted footballers: