Andy Townsend speaks to FAI TV
Townsend joins the FAI Hall of Fame after a brilliant career in the game. The 51-year-old was born in Kent but declared for Ireland in 1989 and went on to star at Italia 90 and USA 94 World Cup final tournaments. He was the Irish captain at the 1994 tournament and was a key figure in the golden era of the national team.
Townsend was a powerful central midfielder with a great engine and an eye for goal. With a sweet left foot he scored and created many goals for club and country. The midfielder was another player who would be classed as a late developer having emerged with non-league Weymouth before getting his chance with Southampton then he impressed with Norwich City in the English top flight. After Jack Charlton was alerted to his Irish family background he was happy to bring Townsend into the international squad and was rewarded by many top class displays.
Townsend, whose father Don played for Charlton and Crystal Palace, ended up winning 70 caps for Ireland. His club career saw him move to Chelsea, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and eventually West Bromwich Albion. At club level he won the League Cup twice with Villa and helped Middlesbrough to the First Division title in 1998, the same year they were beaten in the League Cup Final. He was made captain at most of his clubs and went on to enjoy a successful career as a pundit upon his retirement from the game.