Testimonial v Shamrock Rovers XI August 14th 1986
In the mid-Sixties there were few, if any, better full-backs than Shay Brennan. He made up for a lack of pace with astute positioning and relied on skill rather than brawn.
Brennan joined United in December 1953, turning professional in April 1955. He made his senior début in the club's first game following the Munich disaster; although slected out of position on the left wing, Brennan scored twice in the 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the fifth round FA Cup tie on February 19th 1958.
An inside-forward in his early career, Brennan established himself as a first team regular during the 1959/60 season as a half-back. The following season he converted to right-back and remained first choice in this position for most of the next six seaons.
He diodn't play in the 1963 FA Cup Final, Brennan was part of the side that beat Benfica in the 1968 European Cup Final and won two Championship medals.
Although born in Manchester, Brennan qualified to play for the Republic of Ireland, winning the first of his nineteen caps in 1965.
Shay Brennan was released on a free at the end of the 1969/70 season and was granted a Testimonial by the club. Instead he was awarded a lifetime pension of £15 per week, the first player at the club to be given such an award, and left the club to take up the position of player/manager at Waterford in August 1970. He remained in charge until 1974, guiding the club to two Championships and an Irish Cup triumph.