Funnily enough, I write this in the city John O’Shea was born – Co. Waterford – where I happen to be studying journalism. On the way to college this morning Sheasy’s name was repeated over and over with delight following his last minute winner for the Republic of Ireland against Germany.

In June 2011, Sunderland completed the signings of Manchester United duo Wes Brown and John O’Shea over the course of 24 hours. The time had come for Sir Alex Ferguson to get rid but their experience to some extent was missed. Even today with the exits of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, United look light on the experience front and it has shown when clinging on to narrow leads.

John has reached many heights in his career. In terms of success he won 5 Premier League titles, 1 European Cup, 1 FIFA World Cup, 1 FA Cup and 3 League Cups.

Despite not being successful on the international stage, O’Shea has represented the Republic of Ireland by marking his 100th appearance against the World Champions on Tuesday night. It is probably his last set of qualifiers, aged 33, but the Waterford man is still in good shape and scoring vitally important goals.

Ireland were 1-0 down in Gelsenkirchen after a superb finish by Toni Kroos. They put up a good fight throughout the game and deserved to take something away from it, and did just that when O’Shea popped up with an equaliser in the last minute. It was a big result that placed Ireland second in Group D behind Poland with the same amount of points.

As most of you are well aware, it was not the first time O’Shea drove travelling fans to ecstasy. In March 2007, United were nearing a scoreless draw versus Liverpool at Anfield. Replacing Wayne Rooney after 73 minutes was today’s talk of the town. Even at that stage in the game, things were not going our way with Paul Scholes getting sent off.

Time was running out as we hit stoppage time. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to take a free-kick and there was immediate optimism on the terraces as far as United fans were concerned. What we didn’t expect was Jose Reina to fumble a save and for John O’Shea to pound on it and take advantage.

1-0 United. The all important 3 points in the bag. John O’Shea. Against the scousers. Complete and utter madness.

It was sad seeing O’Shea leave but he was a great addition for Steve Bruce’s Sunderland side – as was Brown. A member of some terrific teams under Ferguson, the Waterford man has been an outstanding professional throughout his career and, as far as I’m concerned, still feels like one of ours.

When Johnny goes marching down the wing
O’Shea O’Shea
When Johnny goes marching down the wing
O’Shea O’Shea
When Johnny goes marching down the wing
The stretford end in gonna sing
We all know that Johnny’s gonna score!

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