:: St Joseph's Newry :: Home  | Text Only 

:: St Joseph's Newry :: Image

An interview with Pat Jennings
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
print Print

Pat Mrs McGuigan.jpg

As many of you know – Pat Jennings was a past pupil of St Joseph’s. Pat was a world class goalkeeper who played for Spurs, Arsenal and Northern Ireland. Mr Morgan was lucky enough to interview Pat recently as part of the Revised Curriculum for History. Mr Morgan has kindly included some of the interview here for you to read on the school web-page.

The following are extracts from Mr. Morgan’s February 2010 telephone interview

with him.  In the interview Pat discussed his glittering career and the famous 1973 All Ireland Soccer team that played Brazil in Dublin.

“The original idea was Derek Dougan’s and a guy called Louis Kilcoin.  Derek Dougan who we called ‘the Doug’ organised the Northern guys and Johnny Giles and Kilcoin organised the Southern guys.  Derek Dougan was possibly 30/40 years ahead of his time.  He started the idea of player power.  He was doing then what Beckham did only recently with fashion and haircuts etc.  He tried to get the match organised for Belfast but it got no encouragement”

“My first reaction when I heard about the match was that it would be a fantastic opportunity to play against Brazil.  They had fantastic players like Rivelino, Jairzinho and Tostão who took the two penalties on the night one of which I was lucky enough to save.”

“I had just received the Football Writers Player of the Year in 1973 but I was still aware of the trouble back home.  My mum used to send me the Newry Reporter every week and things were on the news every day.”

 “It’s the most asked question of my career when it comes to Ireland is the issue of a United Irish team.  Whenever you look back over the years and the fantastic players north and south had we could have put together teams which could have given any team in the world a game.  We were unlucky to loose to Brazil that night in July 1973 and we didn’t even have our best team out, we only got who was available.  Local politics and pre season were the two complicating factors.  I think the main obstacle to an All Ireland team is the two associations.  The people employed there understandably want to keep their jobs which they might loose if there was a joint team and joint leagues.”

“...It’s sad that soccer shows a close link between sport and politics especially in NI.  Other sports in Ireland don’t seem to have that same strong connection for example rugby and boxing.”

“When I had my testimonial Linfield let me have the pitch for nothing.  They made a great effort for it, they couldn’t have been more helpful.”

“The months before the Brazil match were very good for me.  I remember going to Anfield when Bill Shankly was managing the great Liverpool team of the time, I saved two penalties and made several other reasonable saves and we still only drew 1-1.  In all the years I played for Tottenham I have never gone to Anfield and won.  When I moved to Arsenal I can’t remember ever loosing at Anfield!”

So good was Pat’s display that day (31st March 1973) that Bill Shankly said after the match;

mr t and pat.jpg “There should be a law against goalkeepers being allowed to play with hands as big as those that Pat Jennings has got. They’re not hands. They’re bloody shovels!”

Graciously ending the interview Pat said;

“I hope this little interview is useful to the lads in the school.  It’s never a problem.”


Terms & Conditions  |  ©:: St Joseph's Newry :: 2015  |  Developed by Wholeschool  |  SiteMap

Contact Us  |  Accessibility  |  Directory   |  CEOP