Close sidebar

The Ireland Team That Scraped Past San Marino 10 Years Ago: Where Are They Now?

Post San-Marino Papers 8/2/2007 Bad Reacation to Republic of Ireland's 2-1 win over San Marino in the paper headlines Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Although it is possibly still fresh in the minds of Irish football fans, Ireland’s bizarre 2-1 victory over lowly San Marino reached its ten-year anniversary this week (February 7).

Despite being a strong Ireland team on paper, the Boys in Green struggled to get to grips with one of world football’s worst ever teams. Stephen Ireland popped up with a last-minute winner in what still went down as a national embarrassment.

We take a look at where the players from the night are now and if they managed to recover from the experience.

Only six of the players who took to the pitch that night are still playing professionally.


Wayne Henderson

Henderson went on to win six caps for Ireland afterwards but his international career stalled after Steve Staunton was sacked.

Played under 100 league games for Brighton and Preston amongst others before retiring in 2011 due to a spinal problem.

European Championship Qualifier 7/2/2007 San Marino vs Republic of Ireland Manuel Marani of San Marino scores a goal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Manuel Marani of San Marino scores. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer.


Steve Finnan

Still one of Ireland’s finest ever full-backs. Finnan had only won the Champions League two years previously with Liverpool, making the San Marino game far from his comfort zone.

Finished his career off with Portsmouth and now works in property.


John O’Shea

One of the few remaining players from that faithful night. O’Shea has since gone onto play in two European Championships and won the Champions League with Manchester United the following year so things worked out for him after all.


Richard Dunne

Some will still deny that Dunne was breached by the minows but this was only a slight blip in a well established international career.

Bowed out in 2013 just after Martin O’Neill’s appointment having struck fear into the people of Moscow in 2011.


Ian Harte

Ireland’s most prolific defender, Harte was enjoying a reinvigorated recall to the Ireland squad at the time. This was his last cap, but his free-kicks are still legendary despite a night to forget.

Retired in 2015 after guiding Bournemouth to Premier League promotion.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Ian Harte of AFC Bournemouth in action during the Capital One Cup Second Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Northampton Town at Goldsands Stadium on August 26, 2014 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)


Damien Duff

One of Ireland’s greatest ever players, even Duff struggled against the scrappy San Marino. Went on to win exactly 100 caps and brought many happy moments to Irish fans.

Finished up his playing career at Shamrock Rovers in 2015 after after his international retirement following Euro 2012.


Stephen Ireland

The man who scored the winner would eventually experience the death of his granny, only to realise it was another granny, only to finally discover that it was neither granny.

The long whirlwind story of what might have been. Still with Stoke but currently injured.


Lee Carsley

Carsley was Ireland’s robust midfield operator and a regular under Staunton, fulfilling the role Glenn Whelan has taken up for the past decade.

Played his final game for Ireland against Brazil in 2008 and is now employed as an underage coach by the FA. A ‘granny rule’ player himself, one of Carsley’s roles is ironically stopping English players defecting to other nations.


Kevin Kilbane

Scored the opener against San Marino before the madness ensued. Kilbane went on to become Ireland’s most capped player before being overtaken by Shay Given, Robbie Keane and John O’Shea.

Retired from football in 2012 with legendary status and is now establishing himself as a rather fine pundit.

HULL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: (L-R) Dan Walker, Steve Bruce, Kevin Kilbane and Phil Brown, host BBC television's football focus prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and West Ham United at KC Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Hull, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)


Robbie Keane

Although he failed to score on the night, Keane did alright in the end. It is unlikely his 68 goals will ever be beaten, not to mention his 146 caps.

Currently a free agent, he’s set to prolong his career for at least another year. Already missed by Irish fans but left a lot of fantastic memories behind.


Shane Long

One of the last men standing, Long had just turned 20 and thankfully his career did kick on. Having amassed 17 goals for Ireland so far in his career, Long has plenty of time to add more.

Despite being 30 now, he is in peak shape and is still one of the Premier League’s fastest players. Still with Southampton, where he seems quite content.


Paul McShane

Another current squad member, McShane has been a much-maligned figure amongst Ireland fans. However, the last several seasons have seen massive improvement in the 31-year-old who seems to have been around forever.

Was one of Ireland’s most promising players at the time and drew strange comparisons to Roy Keane during his early days at Manchester United. Currently fighting for promotion with Reading.

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: Paul McShane of Reading gets past Albert Adomah of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Reading at the Riverside Stadium on April 12, 2016 in Middlesbrough, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)


Stephen Hunt

Was Ireland’s equivalent to James McClean in 2007. A feisty left winger and usually a terrifying impact off the bench, Hunt spent several seasons as a Premier League regular and was also part of the Euro 2012 squad.

His last spell was with Coventry at the end of last season and is now making waves as a pundit and football columnist.


Anthony Stokes

Stokes was another golden boy of this Irish team that never quite made the grade. Despite his much-criticised career, domestically he is one of Ireland’s most prolific goalscorers of the last decade, with his international career hardly helped by his exclusion from Giovanni Trappatoni’s squads in addition to his off-field antics.

Struggling to get a game at Blackburn, but has been linked with Polish side Jaggielonia Bialystok who lead the Polish League

Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena

Sign Up For The LOI Arena Newsletter

Read More About: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.