SAM ALLARDYCE WAS this week named as the new England manager.
Back in the summer of 1991, Allardyce was released by Bury’s coaching academy due to lack of funds and found himself at a crossroads.
As a player, Allardyce was a central defender who had played for a host of clubs – most notably Bolton Wanderers, Millwalll and Preston North End – in a 20-year career that saw him play 479 times, as well as a brief spell in 1983 at Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Father Joe Young, the chairman of Limerick City FC, called Allardyce and offered him the part-time position as player-manager of the club, who were then in the second tier of the League of Ireland and playing at Rathbane ahead of the 1991/92 season.
Allardyce took the job as player-manager and ran into Finn Harps three times that season, winning all three.
Harps, managed by John O’Neill, were beaten 5-2 at Rathbane in October 1991 with Con McLaughlin scoring twice from the penalty spot to bring his total for the Ballybofey club to 100 goals.
Then, in Janaury 1992, Limerick left Finn Park with a 3-0 win and were 2-0 winners in the third meeting of the sides in March.
Limerick went onto win the First Division by five points from Waterford United, who were also promoted. Harps finished the season in sixth some 14 points off Limerick in the days of two points for a win.
Allardyce left Limerick after one season and having taken a coaching role at Preston was also caretaker manager at the club. Thereafter, he managed Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Sunderland.