With it being St. Patrick’s Day today, we look at those players who were born in or represented either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland at international level. All players have to have made an appearance for the first team (so no Matty Lund [NI] or Jonathan Walters [ROI] as they only made it as far as the bench) and appearance figures are league appearances only.
Goalkeeper – Harry Gregg (Manager Jan 1975 – May 1978)
Alright, this first entry didn’t play for the club but Gregg managed the Alex for 163 games. Having played for Northern Ireland 25 times between 1954 and 1963, he played for Doncaster Rovers, Manchester United and Stoke City during his playing career before managing Shrewsbury Town, Swansea City, the Alex and Carlisle United. He passed away last month aged 87.
Defender – Corey Whelan (Player 2018-2019)
The first of the loanees that played for the club made 7 appearances for the Republic of Ireland’s Under-21 side between 2017 and 2018 but hasn’t made the senior squad yet. He started his career at Liverpool, spending time on loan at Yeovil Town and the Alex (he made 16 league appearances for us) before moving to the United States to play for Phoenix Rising and on loan at FC Tucson.
Defender – Eddie Nolan (Player 2017-present)
The first of two current players made 3 appearances for Republic of Ireland’s senior team in 2009 while he was on the books of then-Premier League Blackburn Rovers. Eddie has also played for Stockport County, Hartlepool United, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday, Scunthorpe United, York City and Blackpool before joining the Alex in the summer of 2017.
Defender – Colin Murdock (Player 2005)
Colin played 34 times for Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2006. He started his career with Manchester United before playing Preston North End, Hibernian, the Alex (where he made 16 appearances in a short spell), Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Accrington Stanley.
Defender – Alan Sheehan (Player 2009)
Alan played 5 times for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side between 2005 and 2007 but didn’t play for the senior team. He started his career at Leicester City before spending time at Mansfield Town, Leeds United, the Alex (where he made 3 appearances in a short loan spell), Oldham Athletic, Swindon Town, Notts County, Bradford City, Peterborough United and Luton Town before joining Lincoln City on a short-term deal earlier in the month.
Defender – Paul Tierney (Player 2002-2003)
Paul played 7 times for the Republic of Ireland’s Under-21 side. He started his career at Manchester United before spending time with the Alex (making 14 appearances in the 2002/03 season), Colchester United, Bradford City, Livingston, Blackpool, Stockport County and Altrincham.
Midfielder – Alan Maybury (Player 2000)
Another loanee who appeared 10 times for the Republic of Ireland between 1998 and 2005. He started his career with Leeds United, spending time on loan with Reading and the Alex (who he played for 6 times in a loan spell in 2000). After leaving Leeds, he played for Hearts, Leicester City, Aberdeen, Colchester United, St Johnstone, Hibernian and Falkirk before retiring in 2015. Alan is currently a coach at former club St Johnstone.
Midfielder – Michael O’Connor (Player 2005-2009)
Michael made 11 appearances for Northern Ireland between 2008 and 2013. He started his career with the Alex (making 77 appearances) before spending time at Lincoln City, Scunthorpe United, Rotherham United, Port Vale, Notts County and Lincoln again. He currently plays for Salford City in League 2 following a January 2020 move.
Midfielder – Paul Green (Player 2018-present)
The other current player made 22 appearances for Republic of Ireland’s senior team between 2010 and 2014. He started his career with Doncaster Rovers before moving on to Derby County, Leeds United, Ipswich Town, Rotherham United, Oldham Athletic and the Alex, initially on loan in January 2018 before joining permanently that summer.
Midfielder – Neil Lennon – (Player 1990-1996)
Neil made 40 appearances for Northern Ireland between 1994 and 2002. He started his career as Glenavon before spells at Manchester City, the Alex (where he made 147 appearances) before playing for Leicester City, Celtic, Nottingham Forest and Wycombe Wanderers. He is currently Celtic’s manager (in his second spell) after also managing Bolton Wanderers and Hibernian.
Forward – Steve Jones (Player 2001-2006)
Steve made 29 appearances for Northern Ireland between 2003 and 2007. He started his career at Chadderton before having spells at Blackpool, Bury, Sligo Rovers, Bray Wanderers, Chorley and Leigh RMI before joining the Alex. He has since played for Rochdale, Burnley, the Alex for a second spell on loan, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City, Walsall, Motherwell, Droylsden, AFC Telford United, Airbus and Nantwich Town. He currently plays for Whitchurch Alport in the 9th tier of English football at the age of 43.