Ahead of the Aviva Stadium showdown with the Three Lions, we’re reposting Tony Cascarino’s interview with Póg Mo Goal when the former Irish striker revealed that one of his greatest moments in football was netting against England during a Euro ’92 qualifier at Lansdowne Road which finished 1-1.
“To score against England was extra special. Playing for Ireland, the English players would give plenty of stick to us Irish lads. I remember Dennis Wise saying: ‘One England cap is worth 50 Ireland caps.’ All I’d say was: ‘It’s more than 20 years since you’ve beaten us!”
The now 52-year-old, who scored 19 times for the Republic, added that being in an English club dressing room as an Irish player was particularly great during the 1988-’89 season and similarly for 1994 when England failed to qualify for the USA World Cup.
“My favourite football moment was, therefore, scoring against England. What made it extra special though was that there were a number of Villa players in the England line-up (Cascarino played for Villa at the time). I remember (England manager) Graham Taylor wagging his finger at me when I came on, warning me against scoring.
He had signed me shortly before that so to score against them – and to go in to the dressing room a few days later wearing my Ireland jersey was fantastic. The England players would always wear their jerseys coming to training after they got a big result, so to do the same to them – having scored against them – was very special.”
Around the time of the release of his highly-lauded book Full-Time, much was made of Cascarino’s tenuous links to Ireland. The revelation that his mother had been adopted by her Irish father prompted Cascarino himself to question his eligibility to play for the Republic.
None of this was known, however, when he first chose to line out for the Boys in Green. So would the former Millwall, Chelsea and Marseilles player have picked England if they had asked him at the same time?
“That’s a hard one. I mean, it wasn’t really an option. I grew up in a very Irish family in south London, going to Mass with my grandad every Sunday and drinking black and tans. So, it was never really an option for me and I had some of the most memorable moments of my career in an Ireland shirt. I never had one regret getting involved with the Irish set-up.”
Main image: lagaleriadelfutbol