Trevor Sinclair would have picked Ireland if the chance had come

Ex-England winger discusses his career and love for Sligo

Trevor Sinclair,

Trevor Sinclair. Picture by John Walton PA Archive/PA Images

Ex-England and West Ham winger Trevor Sinclair says he maintains strong ties with Co Sligo to this day and if Ireland had come calling first, he would have played for the Boys in Green.

The BBC Sport pundit has Irish roots through his mother, who is from Sligo, and speaking to Off The Ball, the 43 year old says the Connacht county remains an important part of his life. 

"We still go [to Sligo] now. My Mum passed away 10 years ago and it's something that we try and do just as a family," he said.

"We've got family in Boyle and we also love going to Dublin. I love the atmosphere there. I actually played against Ireland for England under-21s and I kind of thought [I] probably chose the wrong national team for me because after the game, we'd beaten Ireland 2-1, in the players' lounge you've got aunties, uncles, cousins, grandmothers and second cousins. The lads actually left me behind. I was enjoying the company and talking to all the different people so much that I didn't even realise that the team had left, the coach had gone, and the flight had left. I ended up staying in Dublin that night. Great times and I've always enjoyed going to Ireland." 

He also added that: "If Ireland had come to me first, I definitely would have gone for Ireland. I definitely had an affiliation with Ireland. We were brought up that way." 

Trevor Sinclair against Ireland in 1995 for England under-21s. Picture by Tony Marshall EMPICS Sport

He also confirmed that Ireland did enquire in 1994 but unfortunately from an Irish perspective it was after he had been capped for the England under-21s and therefore no longer eligible under the old rules.

He joked that Ireland got Jason McAteer instead.

Sinclair's most memorable moment at club level was an extraordinary feat of athleticism when he scored a bicycle kick for QPR in the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1997 against Barnsley.

"In training, I used to try it quite often, usually in the 18 yard box. I just thought I'd have a go and it's one of them, it could easily have landed in Row Z but luckily I caught it really sweetly and it went in the roof of the net," he said.

"Even from schoolboy level, I'd always try and attempt shots like that. If they come from the right wing, I feel really comfortable taking that kind of effort and I'd practiced it many times."

Sinclair also reminisced about leaving his native Manchester for Blackpool to kickstart his career, where he made his debut at the age of just 16 before leaving for QPR four years later in 1993.

He added that the tough early footballing careers stood him in good stead for his later career.

Sinclair also discussed his England career, including going to the 2002 World Cup.