Alan Mannus announced his retirement from playing professional football earlier this week.
We sat down with Big Al to talk through his time at Rovers, his achievements and his memorable moments.
What a career Alan had at the Hoops; his record reads:
- Played 2009-2011 & 2018-2023
- 6 x League Titles
- 1 x FAI Cup
- 1 x President of Ireland’s Cup
- 1 x Setanta Sports Cup
Alan will always be welcome at Shamrock Rovers; he goes with our never-ending appreciation.
Alan began his career with Linfield in 2000. He won five leagues and four Cups with Linfield, also capturing the inaugural 2005 Setanta Sports Cup.
Michael O’Neill brought the experienced goalkeeper to the club in the summer of 2009, the first season at Tallaght Stadium. Rovers won the league in 2010 for the first time in 16 years, also lifting the Setanta Cup in Tallaght in May the following season. He ended his first spell here with a clean sheet away to Flora Tallinn as Rovers advanced through the first qualifying round of the Champions League.
He then spent seven seasons at St Johnstone, helping the club to a Scottish Cup triumph in 2014. Alan was recalled to the Nothern Ireland squad by his former boss O’Neill during his time in Scotland. Overall he won nine caps for his country and travelled to the Euro 2016 finals.
After being persuaded to return to Rovers by Stephen Bradley in 2018, he would make crucial saves in the 2019 FAI Cup final penalty shootout at Lansdowne Road. Having helped the Saints to a Scottish Cup and the first major trophy of their 130-year history, he had now won a national Cup in three different nations as the Hoops famously lifted the Blue Riband trophy for the first time since 1987.
Alan then became only the second four-in-a-row winning Hoops keeper after Jody Byrne in the 1980s as Rovers secured a fourth consecutive league title this season. They sealed the 2021 title with a 3-0 win over Finn Harps in Tallaght, a landmark night for the shotstopper as it was his 100th clean sheet. Alan won the SWAI Goalkeeper of the Year award for a third time in 2022.
Last week’s win at Richmond Park also meant that Alan had won his sixth league medal in a Hoops jersey, breaking Peter Eccles’ record of five, which teammate Ronan Finn now also has. Overall, he kept 128 clean sheets in 285 appearances for Rovers, beating a record once held by Alan O’Neill.