Sammy McIlroy

Sammy McIlroy

Football Biography
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Sammy McIlroy

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Samuel Baxter "Sammy" McIlroy (born 2 August 1954) is a Northern Irish former international footballer whose clubs included Manchester United. After playing, he managed several English football teams and the Northern Ireland national team, gaining most success with Macclesfield Town. He was most recently the manager of Football League Two side Morecambe.

Club career

From East Belfast, McIlroy played from 1971 to 1982 at Manchester United. He was the last youth player signed by Matt Busby, therefore making him the last of the Busby Babes. He was dubbed 'The next George Best', and in his first-team debut match in 1971 at the age of 17 he scored, in a 3–3 draw in the Manchester derby against Manchester City at Maine Road on 6 November, but was not able to win a regular first-team place until the 1974–75 season.

This was shortly after United slipped out of the top flight, but he helped them shoot straight back up again, finished third in the top flight a year later and also reach an FA Cup final – which they surprisingly lost to Southampton. A year later, McIlroy picked up a winner's medal as United triumphed 2–1 against Liverpool. A runners-up medal in the FA Cup followed two years after that as United were defeated 3–2 by Arsenal, with McIlroy equalising for United having been 2–0 down, only for Alan Sunderland to dramatically win it for Arsenal minutes afterwards.

In the late 1970s McIlroy moved from 'Reds' striker to midfielder.

In 1982, after 13 years...
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