PICS: Martin O'Neill & John Giles v Brazil in 1973

40 years ago an amalgamated Ireland team took on Brazil with Giles and new Ireland manager O'Neill lining out

The least interesting fact about Martin O'Neill's appointment as Ireland manager is the fact that he shares a surname with Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill.

The two teams had even stronger linkages back in 1973. It was the height of the Troubles and Brazil were taking part in a European tour.

Then-Ireland captain Johnny Giles and Northern Ireland's Derek Dougan supported a project to create a united Ireland team to take on that star-studded Brazil team.

The duo persuaded a number of players from both sides of the border to join the Shamrock Rovers XI at Landsdowne Road on July 3rd.

Among those taking part was new Ireland manager O'Neill who is pictured fourth from the left in the back row.

Back row, from left, Miah Dennehy, David Craig, Paddy Mulligan, Martin O’Neill, Derek Dougan, Alan Hunter, Liam O’Kane. Front row, from left, Bryan Hamilton, Pat Jennings, Tommy Carroll, John Giles, Don Givens, Terry Conroy, and Mick Martin. Picture credit; Connolly Collection / SPORTSFILE


Ireland ended up losing the game 4 - 3 to a Brazil side which featured 1970 World Cup winners such as Jairzinho, Rivelino, Piazza, Caju and Marco Antonio.