Irish football mourns former Everton star Mick Meagan, the country's first manager

Former Ireland soccer international Mick Meagan, who also served as the Republic's first manager, has died, aged 88.
Irish football mourns former Everton star Mick Meagan, the country's first manager

Mick Meagan, right, in 2010 at the unveiling of a Tribute Gallery in his honour with his partner Derville O'Neill, left, his son Mark Meagan and his sister Liz Curran. FAI Headquarters, Abbottstown, Dublin. Photo by Sportsfile

Former Ireland soccer international Mick Meagan, who also served as the Republic's first manager, has died, aged 88.

The Dubliner spent 14 years of an illustrious career with Everton in the English First Division, winning a league title with the Merseyside club in 1963.

After leaving Everton the following year, he went on to play 119 times for Huddersfield and also had a spell with Halifax. He won 17 senior caps for the Republic of Ireland.

On returning to Ireland, he served as player-manager with Drogheda and Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland, as well as Bray Wanderers in the Leinster Senior League.

Irish team which lost to Turkey in Euro Nations Cup in Ankara in 1967. From Left: Mick Meagan, Al Finucane, Noel Cantwell, John Giles, Joe Kinnear, Frank O'Neill, Mick McGrath, Eamonn Dunphy, Charlie Gallagher, Alan Kelly and Charlie Hurley 
Irish team which lost to Turkey in Euro Nations Cup in Ankara in 1967. From Left: Mick Meagan, Al Finucane, Noel Cantwell, John Giles, Joe Kinnear, Frank O'Neill, Mick McGrath, Eamonn Dunphy, Charlie Gallagher, Alan Kelly and Charlie Hurley 

Before that, he was named Republic of Ireland manager in 1969, as senior players demanded an end to the old selection committee approach. 

Although his stint in charge was not successful, Meagan is credited with a key role in modernising the position of Ireland manager. 

The FAI said: "The FAI is saddened to learn of the passing of Mick Meagan A former Ireland player & manager, Mick was a hugely influential figure. Also connected with the League of Ireland, he was a player & manager for Drogheda & Shamrock Rovers, plus he played for Bray Wanderers."

An Everton statement read: "Everyone at Everton Football Club is saddened to learn of the passing of Mick Meagan at the age of 88.

"The former Blues defender, who made 177 appearances and scored one goal during a 14-year stint at the Club, passed away on Sunday (27 November) after a long battle with illness.

"Meagan grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and, after appearing in a match against a Liverpool district team in his hometown, he was signed by Everton in 1952.

"He was part of the side that secured the league title in 1962/63 and also won the Charity Shield the same year.

"After retiring from playing, he became the first manager of the Republic Ireland national side in 1969, with the nation previously using a team of selectors to pick the team."

Bray Wanderers said: "All at the club - both past and present - are saddened to learn of the passing of Mick Meagan. He was both a player and manager of the team back in 1973 in the LSL."

“We have lost a legend, and an absolute gentleman,” said Bray Head of Football Pat Devlin.

 

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