GAA Football

In The Irish News on October 3, 1996: Aston Villa accept transfer request from Republic of Ireland defender Paul McGrath

The end of Paul McGrath's Aston Villa career neared after manager Brian Little granted his transfer request 21 years ago

ASTON Villa have agreed to central defender Paul McGrath’s transfer request – and the Republic of Ireland international has been told he can go as soon as the club receive an acceptable offer.

Manager Brian Little accepted the inevitable after McGrath, who is desperate for first-team football, admitted that he was resigned to a future away from Villa.

Little said: “I’ve agreed to his transfer request. When people ask to leave, I’ve normally made sure that I’ve been able to move them on.

“In any case, in those circumstances it is also very difficult to think about picking them to play. I am open to offers for Paul, although, as yet, nobody has enquired.”

Villa are still looking for £200,000 for McGrath to recoup his summer signing-on fee and subsequent wages.

However, Little denied reports that the 36-year-old Irishman had been banned from the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground.

Little said: “I have simply given Paul a couple of days off. That’s all there is too it. I have not banned him from training. It’s important he keeps himself fit – for his sake if nothing else.”

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THE new management system for the Monaghan senior football side will be a joint effort between Sean McCague and Eamonn McEneaney.

Their appointments will be formally ratified at next Monday night’s County Board meeting although they are looking after county team affairs in the interim.

Sean McCague is no stranger to team management. He was in charge when Monaghan won Ulster Senior Championship titles in 1979, 1985 and 1988 when they lifted the National Football League title in 1985.

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NORTHERN Ireland’s top amateur boxers will soon be able to apply for lottery money on an individual basis under a new initiative.

The Northern Ireland Sports Council are currently preparing the conditions for assessing individual applications.

Lottery money will be made available for boxers and other athletes who are rated within the top 10 or 12 in the world in their respective sports.

The money will go towards providing coaches and coaching facilities to enable the cream of Northern Ireland’s amateur talent to fully realise their individual capability.

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Former world welterweight champion Eamonn Loughran was looking forward to a return to the ring in the autumn of 1996

THE brothers Loughran have been pencilled in for the much-awaited Ulster Fight Night at the Ulster Hall on November 5 and super-middleweight Sam Storey is on the bill, Matchroom have confirmed.

It’s a mouth-watering line-up for Belfast fight fans, to be screened live by Eurosport: eight fights, an Irish title bout, a professional debut and two chief support fights.

Former WBO welter-weight champion Eamonn Loughran and his brother, light-welterweight Pat, will take to the ring, the latter could be matched with Eamonn Magee.

If both do fight, the meeting will be one which could upstage the headline bout between Darren Corbett and Ray Kane for the Irish cruiserweight title.

Magee and Loughran have, like Corbett and Kane, been involved in a war of words in recent months.

On September 3, Magee said he no longer needed a fight with the Ballymena man, minutes after the north Belfast fighter had disposed of Halifax’s Kevin McKillen.

Loughran hit back the following day saying he “needed to clear his doorstep of Magee.”

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