Mon 25 April 2022 | 13:30

Top facts about John O'Shea, the Irish international

John O'Shea was a versatile player who could play everywhere in defense and also in defensive midfield. Read on to find out more facts about John O'Shea, Ireland's no. 1.

John Francis O'Shea (born 30 April 1981) is the first-team coach of Reading and former professional footballer from Ireland. He was recognized for his versatility, as he could play a variety of positions on either side of the field or in the middle.

John O'Shea’s age

is 40. Here, you can find the most important facts about John O'Shea, the man who played everywhere.

O'Shea, who was born in Waterford, joined Manchester United at the age of 17. He had loan stints at AFC Bournemouth and Royal Antwerp before breaking into the

Manchester United

first team, making 393 appearances and scoring 15 goals in all competitions over the course of 12 seasons.

Five Premier League crowns, one FA Cup, two Football League Cups, four FA Community Shields, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup were among O'Shea's 14 honors at United.

An important fact about John O'Shea is that he is one of Ireland's most decorated players, with just Denis Irwin,

Roy Keane

, Steve Heighway, and Ronnie Whelan having more awards.

In July 2011, he joined Sunderland. He joined for Championship side Reading in July 2018 until his retirement in May 2019, after playing 256 times for the Wearside club and scored four goals.

O'Shea made his Republic of Ireland debut against Croatia in 2001 and went on to make 118 appearances for his nation over the following 17 years, scoring three goals, the first of which he scored against Australia in 2003.

He was a member of the side that lost to France in a FIFA World Cup play-off in 2010 and went on to participate in UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016.

Top facts about John O'Shea:

A notable

fact about John O'Shea

is that he made his senior team debut for Ireland against Croatia on August 15, 2001. During the 2004-2005 season, rumors circulated linking him to both Newcastle United and Liverpool FC.

O'Shea, on the other hand, remained at Manchester United. One of the highlights of Manchester United's season that year was a 4–2 win over


, in which O'Shea scored the fourth goal following a brilliant move on Spain goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

Due to Gary Neville's injury in the 2005-06 season, O'Shea had more opportunities to play in Manchester's starting lineup. During that season, he was chastised for his lackluster performances.

On February 4, 2007, during a league match against

Tottenham Hotspur

, O'Shea replaced Edwin van der Sar in goal after the latter was forced to leave due to a broken nose, as Manchester had made all three statutory substitutions; thus, the substitute goalkeeper could not enter.

Shortly before the end of the game, O'Shea made a save against a shot from fellow Irishman Robbie Keane. Following that, the Manchester crowd sang the Irish national anthem in honor of the player.

A month later, he earned the respect of many Manchester fans by scoring the game-winning goal in extra time against Liverpool at the legendary Anfield Road. This goal was crucial in the 2006-07 Premier League season, which ended in Manchester's favor.

In the 2006-2007 season, John O'Shea shot 100 percent and scored on 80 percent of his shots. O'Shea's contract with the club was extended until 2012 on November 23, 2007.

Manchester United used O'Shea as an emergency striker during the 2007-2008 season, as the club had a large number of injured players in that position. O'Shea earned the distinction of having played in every position for Manchester United after holding that position. He was one of Ferguson's most frequently used players.

An important fact about John O'Shea is that he left for Premier League side Sunderland AFC in July 2011, following in the footsteps of teammate Wes Brown.

O'Shea signed a one-year contract with EFL Championship club Reading FC on June 6, 2018. He'd be joining up with compatriot David Meyler, who'd signed for the Berkshire club the day before.

A notable fact about John O'Shea is that he announced his retirement as a soccer player at the end of the season on April 30, 2019, the day he turned 38.

John O'Shea early life


John O'Shea’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he played for Ferrybank AFC and Waterford Bohemians before entering the Manchester United academy. There is no information available regarding

John O'Shea’s parents


He signed professional papers at the age of 17 and made his professional debut against

Aston Villa

in a 3–0 Football League Cup loss at Villa Park on October 13, 1999.

John O'Shea personal life

On June 8, 2010, O'Shea married Yvonne Manning, his long-term companion, at the Lady Chapel in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. They have two children: a boy and a girl.

John O'Shea professional career

The Irishman, John O'Shea, made his debut for the Red Devils in 1999 and he went on to enjoy a successful 12-year stint with the club.

John O'Shea club playing career

After loan stints at AFC Bournemouth and Royal Antwerp in Belgium, he returned to Manchester and made his first team debut in the 2002–03 season, displaying his flexibility by playing left-back, right-back, center-back, and central midfield throughout the victorious Premier League campaign.

Manchester United

United were without

Rio Ferdinand

in 2003–04 when he started a ban for failing to appear for a drugs test in January, and O'Shea took over in center defense, guiding United to the FA Cup Final, where they defeated Millwall 3–0.

In the 2004–05 season, he was linked with a transfer away from Manchester, with Newcastle United and Liverpool being mentioned as potential suitors.

The 4–2 away triumph against Arsenal, in which O'Shea scored the fourth goal by chipping Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia from the outside of the 18-yard box, was one of the highlights of Manchester United's otherwise poor season.

In the 2005–06 season, O'Shea was given more first-team appearances due to Gary Neville's injury. He was chastised for his poor performances that season, and was allegedly one of the players targeted by United legend Roy Keane in a tumultuous appearance on the club's MUTV channel.

An important

fact about John O'Shea

is that he deputized for

Edwin van der Sar

in goal during a league match against Tottenham Hotspur on February 4, 2007, when van der Sar was hauled off the play with a fractured nose and Manchester United had already used all three substitutes.

During this period, he denied Robbie Keane of the Republic of Ireland a goal with a save just before full-time. In honor of O'Shea, United supporters yelled "Ireland's number one" after the event.

After coming in as a replacement for Wayne Rooney, he won over many United supporters by scoring a stoppage-time winner for United in the league against Liverpool at Anfield a month later.

United went on to win the Premier League championship for the 2006–07 season thanks to this goal. He also came to his team's rescue against Everton in one of the season's closing games, kicking the ball into the net after Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner botched a

Ryan Giggs


United went on to win by a score of 4–2. This goal was possibly even more crucial since Bolton Wanderers were drawing with Chelsea at the same moment, and a loss would have allowed Chelsea to reclaim the championship. In a 2–1 loss away to Portsmouth that season, he scored another close-range goal.

This goal occurred during an injury-plagued period of the season, when O'Shea, as a flexible player, was forced to play at full-back. In the 2006–07 season, O'Shea had a shooting accuracy of 100 percent and scored on 80 percent of his shots.

Manchester United employed O'Shea as an emergency striker during the 2007–08 season owing to injury issues. He has the distinction of having played in every position for Manchester United, having started as a striker.

O'Shea's contract with Manchester United was extended in November 2007, keeping him at the club until 2012.

O'Shea came off the bench multiple times during the 2007–08 season, proving to be a valuable utility player on the path to a European double. During a 2–0 home loss to Coventry City in the League Cup Fourth Round, O'Shea led his team for the first time.

During the 2008–09 season, O'Shea established himself as a regular member of the squad, filling in for

Gary Neville

and Wes Brown while they were injured.

An important

fact about John O'Shea

is that he scored his first goal of the season against Derby County in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final on January 20, 2009. O'Shea then began the 2009 Football League Cup Final, but was substituted on 76 minutes by Nemanja Vidi, and United won 4–1 on penalties.

On April 29, 2009, O'Shea scored the game's lone goal in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Arsenal, setting United up for a 4–1 aggregate victory in the second leg.

O'Shea started and played the whole 90 minutes in United's 2–0 defeat to Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League Final, and was widely regarded as one of the team's better players on the night.

For his contribution to the squad that season,

Sir Alex Ferguson

promised O'Shea, who was an unused replacement in the 2008 Champions League Final, a starting spot in the 2009 final.

In the opening game of the 2009–10 Premier League season, O'Shea captained United for the second time against Birmingham City.

On September 29, 2009, he made his 350th appearance against Stoke City, scoring his first league goal in almost two years with a header in a 2–0 victory.

In the second leg of United's 2010–11 UEFA Champions League semi-final triumph against Schalke 04, he led the squad for the third time. O'Shea appeared in 393 games for Manchester United.


Sunderland, led by former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce, signed O'Shea to a four-year deal on July 7, 2011, after paying Manchester United an undisclosed amount.

O'Shea suffered a hamstring injury in his debut game for Sunderland, a friendly against

Arminia Bielefeld

, which forced him to miss the remainder of pre-season and the start of the 2011–12 season.

On August 27, 2011, O'Shea made his competitive debut for Sunderland in a goalless draw against Swansea.

In a 2–1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light in the 2012–13 season, O'Shea scored his first Sunderland goal.

O'Shea's contract had originally expired at the conclusion of the 2016–17 season, which culminated in Sunderland's relegation. The Irishman, on the other hand, agreed to a one-year deal that would extend until July 2018.

On March 30, 2018, O'Shea scored his first club goal in almost four years to assist Sunderland climb off the bottom of the Championship table with a 4–1 away victory against Derby County.

O'Shea was relegated for the second time with Sunderland at the conclusion of the season, when the club finished bottom.


O'Shea signed a one-year contract with Championship club Reading on June 6, 2018. He'd be reunited with his fellow countryman David Meyler, who had joined the Berkshire club the day before.

In 14 August 2018, O'Shea made his Reading debut, coming on as an 82nd-minute replacement for Yakou Mété in a 2–0 EFL Cup victory at home against Birmingham City.

On September 22, he made his league debut for the club in a 3–0 home win against Hull City, in which he was sent off for a foul on Chris Martin.

On 30 April 2019, O'Shea announced his retirement from football on his 38th birthday, and five days later, he made his last professional appearance in a goalless draw at home to

Birmingham City

, when he was honored by both sets of players.

John O'Shea international career

In 15 August 2001, manager Mick McCarthy gave O'Shea his first senior cap for the Republic of Ireland when he came on as an 84th-minute replacement for Gary Kelly in a friendly against Croatia at Lansdowne Road.

His debut ended in disappointment as he conceded a penalty for handball in injury time, which Davor uker converted for a 2–2 draw. He was not selected for the Irish World Cup team in 2002.

His versatility has earned him a starting spot in the team. He has made the defensive spot his own, typically in central defence alongside Richard Dunne and at right-back on occasion or stepping in for injured players, although playing in numerous places throughout the previous several qualifying campaigns.

An important

fact about John O'Shea

is that he scored his first international goal on August 19, 2003, when he headed in Ireland's opening goal in a 2–1 home friendly win against Australia.

O'Shea was in the starting lineup for eight of the ten games during the 2010 World Cup qualification. Giampaolo Pazzini, who holds the record for the quickest sending off in Italian football history, elbowed him in the forehead during a match against Italy on April 1, 2009. O'Shea played the whole 90 minutes after obtaining treatment for the bleeding.

Ireland made nine appearances in UEFA Euro 2012 qualification, including the second leg of their play-off triumph against Estonia, as they qualified for the continental championship for the first time since 1988.

A notable fact about John O'Shea is that he played every minute of their finals campaign, which saw them eliminated from the group stage after three losses. O'Shea led Ireland for the first time in a goalless friendly match against Serbia at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade on August 15, 2012, his 80th cap.

He scored his second international goal, and his first in almost a decade, in a 3–1 World Cup qualification win against Kazakhstan at the Aviva Stadium on October 15, 2013.

O'Shea was set to play Spain at Yankee Stadium in New York on June 11, 2013, but was forced to withdraw due to the tragic death of his uncle Jimmy O'Leary.

On his 100th cap, O'Shea equalized with the final ball of the match in a 1–1 draw against Germany at Gelsenkirchen in a Euro 2016 qualifier on October 14, 2014.

He was sent off for a foul on

Robert Lewandowski

in the last qualifier, a 2–1 loss away to Poland on 11 October 2015, and consequently missed the Republic's play-off first leg. O'Shea was included to Martin O'Neill's 23-man team for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France.

He led the Irish in their first two group matches, a 1–1 draw with Sweden and a 3–0 defeat to Belgium, in the absence of Robbie Keane.

A notable fact about John O'Shea is that he was one among many players who were benched for the crucial final game against Italy, when he and defense partner Ciaran Clark were replaced by Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh; the game finished 1–0.

O'Shea came in as a 68th-minute replacement for James McClean as Ireland lost 2–1 to the hosts at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in the last 16.

On June 2, 2018, O'Shea played his last match for Ireland, a 2–1 friendly triumph against the United States at the Aviva Stadium, more than a year after his penultimate encounter for Ireland. After 34 minutes, he was replaced by debutant Darragh Lenihan, who was greeted with rapturous ovation.

Before the game, President Michael D. Higgins praised him, calling him "one of the most inspiring, devoted, and respected members of our national teams."

O'Shea joined the Reading backroom staff as a first-team coach after retiring as a player with the Championship club in July 2019.

John O'Shea legacy

It's always a sight to see four corners of a football field giggling with delight. When a goalie goes down with an injury and the team is out of subs, someone unfortunate has to put on the gloves and walk into the net. When Manchester United played at White Hart Lane in 2007, they were in precisely that predicament.

When United's regular goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar had to leave the game due to injury, fans looked around to see which unlucky player would be handed the gloves for the final 10 minutes or so.

Rio Ferdinand seemed to be the name picked from the hat at first, even attempting to put on the goalkeeper's jersey for size.

John O'Shea, on the other hand, was not the kind of player to pass up a chance like this. Van der Sar had only been on the field for a few minutes when he was injured, so he grabbed his kit and gloves and walked over to the goal.

The rest of the game was one of the most full and controlled exhibitions anybody has ever seen in football. O'Shea's catching, distribution, and a famous 1-on-1 save have all gone down in United lore, and he remains one of the few 'goalkeepers' in the world with a perfect clean sheet record after United won 4-0.

After a difficult season for Spurs under Martin Jol, John O'Shea, dubbed "Ireland's No. 1" after the game, was on hand to deliver a new low for the North Londoners.

A notable fact about John O'Shea is that he is a versatile fullback who can play on either side of the field. This is where most United fans expected to see John O'Shea when he stepped out onto the football pitch, quote on quote his 'natural' position.

In many ways, a genuine Irishman, it wasn't about looking nice or doing feats for O'Shea; it was about completing the job assigned to him as best he could.

Despite what John O'Shea may say about jet lag and the like, he is a big reason why Manchester United was able to spot

Cristiano Ronaldo

's talent before anyone else.

Playing right back in a now-famous match against Ronaldo's Sporting Lisbon team, the Irishman was completely destroyed by the Portuguese hotshot's pace, ability, and deception.

Despite the fact that it was merely a friendly match, Ronaldo's dash past O'Shea prompted manager Sir Alex Ferguson to ask O'Shea, "Any chance of getting a little closer to him, John?"

Despite the fact that the deal for Cristiano Ronaldo had mostly been approved by this time, Sir Alex Ferguson's performance against O'Shea was enough for him to seize control of the situation and push it through as swiftly as possible.

Following his battle against Ronaldo, O'Shea was the brunt of many jokes and was often reminded of his predicament by the likes of Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand. "You owe me one for bringing your agreement over the line," O'Shea told Ronaldo, according to O'Shea.

Over the course of his decade or so at Manchester United, O'Shea's unusual adaptability was perhaps most shown in his ability to fit into multiple backlines.

With O'Shea, there were some absolute giants at Manchester, from Stam to Vidic, which meant he was never a first-choice defender, nor was he expected to be.

Instead, his finest moments came when he was called upon in the most difficult of circumstances. When Rio Ferdinand failed a drugs test in 2004, for example, John O'Shea was summoned by Sir Alex Ferguson.

During Sir Alex Ferguson's illustrious tenure as Manchester United manager, there have been a few players that he has turned to when his club has been stuck in a rut.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

, Ji Sung Park, and Wes Brown were all long-serving members of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad, sometimes starting but always appearing when the cause was most dire.

This is almost definitely true of John O'Shea's stint in the middle of the defense. He knew he'd never get past players like Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic, but he realized it didn't mean he couldn't contribute.

At the very least, his ten major awards throughout his Manchester United tenure appear to demonstrate that understanding.

John O'Shea would generally be seen in the deep lying position in the center of the field, hoovering up tackles and defending his backline when called into action. Sir Alex Ferguson devised a brilliant approach to maintain his team's defensive stability and to secure any vital victories.

O'Shea is said to have been one of the targets of Roy Keane's notorious tirade to MUTV in 2005, in which he decried the club's alleged downfall.

Over the previous season or so, O'Shea's form had been questioned, with some supporters criticizing his dismal performances as they fell further and farther behind Mourinho's Chelsea team.

Sir Alex, on the other hand, stood by his team and shown once again how much more powerful a team is than an individual. Roy Keane, like Beckham and Van Nistelrooy at the time, was quickly replaced by O'Shea, who would continue to establish his importance to Ferguson and United.

Nutmegging Ballon D'Or winner and all-round icon Luis Figo and scoring the most daring chipped goal at Highbury are just two of John O'Shea's most notorious exploits in front of goal.

When another injury problem forced Sir Alex Ferguson to rely on John O'Shea to lead the line for United in the 2007/08 season, United supporters must have felt they'd seen it all.

After all, this was a squad that had the legendary three of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, and

Carlos Tevez

, as well as offensive stars Nani, Anderson, and Ryan Giggs.

With his performance up front in 2007/08, John O'Shea has now appeared in every position for Manchester United.

O'Shea's innate sense in front of goal, while being a defender at heart, contributed to some important occasions in United's quest for trophies. Important games against Everton on Merseyside and the notorious last-minute goal against Liverpool at Anfield would go a long way in moulding United's late-2000s success, proving Sir Alex Ferguson correct once again.

John O'Shea was not one of Manchester United's finest players. In fact, it's quite uncommon to see someone make over 350 appearances in a 12-year span and not make the team's best-ever eleven.

But it was O'Shea's willingness to step into anyone's shoes throughout the pitch and do everything he could for the squad as a whole that made him so vital to the team.

John O'Shea social media


John O'Shea social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (


) with 100k followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him along with his fans and family.

John O'Shea body measurements

Speaking about

John O'Shea body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 191cm and 75kg.

John O'Shea net worth and salary

John O'Shea’s net worth

is estimated to be around $10 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

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