“The Codebreaker”: The incredible story of Manchester United legend, Kevin Moran – Man United News And Transfer News – Fitnessnacks & Sports

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    You could be forgiven for thinking that RTE’s “The Codebreaker” is the title of a superspy thriller. It is not though.

    As the Times reveals, The Codebreaker, which will air on Monday, 29 May, is a documentary exploring the life and career of iconic former Manchester United and Ireland defender Kevin Moran.

    Moran is nicknamed the codebreaker owing to the fact that he successfully played in two different football codes: Gaelic football, and association football, also known as soccer.

    As a youth, he had shown immense athletic potential, combining both Gaelic and Association football, by playing for Pegasus and Rangers at the same time. His Gaelic football career was short but very successful, winning two All-Ireland cups with Dublin County.

    Moran’s journey with Man United began in February 1978 when he was signed by Dave Sexton, and lasted till 1988 when Sir Alex Ferguson let him go. He would then go on to Sporting Gijon, in Spain, where he was named Senior International Player of the Year at the FAI International Football Awards in 1989.

    Interestingly, Kevin almost never became a professional footballer. He had initially trained as an accountant and had his mind set on practice. However, his talent stood out in amateur games, prompting United scout, Billy Behan to invite him for a trial at Man United.

    While he achieved some personal success in Spain, it was really in England and Ireland, where he had the greatest impact as a sportsperson.

    In Ireland, Moran won two All-Ireland Cup titles and played in three finals, one of them, incredibly, in his first year of employment as a Manchester United player.

    As the story goes, the then 21-year-old would sneak off over the weekends, travelling from Manchester to Dublin where he would play for Dublin then return to Manchester just in time to pick up where he’d left off.

    Remarkably, he was able to keep this up until Dublin made the final of the All-Ireland Cup. Having already won two previous editions, he was desperate for the hat trick.

    Realising that he would not be able to keep his participation in the final a secret, Moran had Dublin manager Kevin Heffernan and captain Tony Hanahoe, head down to Manchester to make his case for him.

    A bemused Dave Sexton ultimately gave his approval but, Moran wouldn’t get his dream ending, as Dublin lost the final.

    He would, however, go on to win the FA Cup and English Super Cup with Man United, as he gained the dubious distinction of being the first-ever player to be sent off in an FA Cup final.

    When Sir Alex Ferguson eventually took over the reins at Old Trafford, he decided Moran was too short and deemed him surplus to requirements after one season, wrapping up a decade of service.

    In a sense that was the end of an era for Moran and the beginning of a new chapter of his life.

    He would not win anything of note with Gijon, but on the international stage, his career came to life. Moran played in all the qualifying games as well as the finals, of the 1988 European Championship and the 1990 World Cup, establishing a legacy as a pillar of Jack Charlton’s Irish football revolution.

    When he finally quit the game in 1994, he returned to the business world where he set up a football agency, Proactive Sports Management.

    “The Codebreaker” in more ways than one, aptly describes Moran’s rare ability to shift between worlds successfully.

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