Behind day 8 of the Fancast Advent calendar – Denis Irwin
For all of Dave Jones’ faults, you can’t deny he had a knack of signing aging Premier League stars. In 2002, Jones signed Paul Ince and Irwin for nothing from Middlesbrough and Manchester United.
With Wolves falling short in the playoffs the season before, you could see Jones’ logic in signing some experienced players. And didn’t it work wonders.
Irwin had been part of the furniture at United for over a decade, winning all there was to win at domestic level.
Much like Ricketts during Wolves time in League 1, Irwin proved to be a steady and calming influence in what was Division 1.
Irwin’s ability over a dead ball and ability to play either full back position made him an excellent player at that level.
When Wolves reached the Premier League, it was clear that at 38 years old Irwin didn’t have the legs to play at the top level, again mirroring Ricketts’ time at Wolves.
After Wolves were relegated, Irwin hung up his boots and instead of going into coaching, moved into a media side of the game.