Denis Irwin “one of the best in the world”.
Denis Irwin was “one of the greatest ever,” according to his former Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers teammate Paul Ince.
Ince and Irwin were part of the Man United side that ended a 26-year wait for a top flight title, as Alex Ferguson’s men won the inaugural Premier League in 1992/93 before retaining the trophy the following season.
Denis Irwin and Paul Ince.
As well as that, the pair won an FA Cup, a League Cup and a European Cup Winners’ Cup together before Ince departed for Inter Milan in the summer of 1995.
They would then be reunited in 2002, as both men signed for Wolverhampton Wanderers, helping the club to promotion to the Premier League in their first season at Molineux.
Across the two clubs, Irwin and Ince played alongside each other 276 times, making the current Reading manager well-placed to assess where the Corkman ranks among the world’s greatest full-backs.
Paul Ince on Denis Irwin: “One of the best full-backs there’s ever been.”
“Denis Irwin was one of the best full-backs there’s ever been,” Ince told Premier League Odds. “Everyone looks at the goalscorers in teams but beneath that, Denis was one of the best in the world for me.
“He very rarely got beat and we both ended up going down to Wolves together. His professionalism and what he gave to the team was vital. We ended up getting promoted that year and a lot of that was down to Denis Irwin. He never really gets the accolades he deserves but for me, he was one of the greatest ever.”
Man United career.
Irwin arrived at Old Trafford in 1990, a year after Ince, but the former Ireland international stayed on to play a part in Ferguson’s second great United team, which went on to win an unprecedented Treble in 1999.
In all, Irwin lined out 529 times for the Red Devils, placing him ninth in the club’s all-time list, although current goalkeeper David de Gea is closing in, having played 512 times between the sticks.
Now 57, Irwin works as a club ambassador at Man United and appears regularly on MUTV.