Michael Joseph "Mick" McCarthy (born February 7 1959, Barnsley, England) is the current manager of Ipswich Town F.C. He played for and managed the Republic of Ireland without being remotely Irish and played the role of Bert in Sesame Street without being a Muppet.
As a player, McCarthy was a typical no-nonsense central defender who enjoyed a successful period at Celtic. He also signed for Lyon, but quickly left when he realised that was a bit silly.
Due to his incredibly Irish name, simple Yorkshire man Mick was allowed to play for the Republic of Ireland despite never having been there and regularly mixing it up with Iceland. He was helped by the fact that during the 1980s and 90s the Ireland side accepted anyone who wasn’t quite good enough for England.
McCarthy was appointed manager of the Republic of Ireland in 1996 and his finest and darkest hours were to come at the 2002 World Cup.
Prior to the 2002 finals, which were held in Japan and Korea as a result of an elaborate practical joke by a FIFA data entry clerk, McCarthy fell out with Roy Keane in the Irish training camp.
Psychotic midfielder Keane was angry at McCarthy’s slack preparations and called him: “A cunt who isn’t even Irish.” While Keane had at least one valid point, McCarthy opted to exile him and in the process lost his best player just days before the action started.
However, McCarthy’s men were able to stun Germany when a last-gasp Robbie Keane equaliser secured a 1-1 draw.
The typically eloquent McCarthy bellowed: “We’ve give ‘em a doing,” during his post-match interview. The rest of his comments were unintelligible to anyone born south of Sheffield.
After Ireland’s trademark unlucky exit, McCarthy initially received a vote of confidence from the Irish Football Association.
However, an enquiry showed that, as Keane suggested, McCarthy’s methods in Japan had been somewhat unorthodox.
Players had been actively encouraged to wear fancy dress to training sessions and a cantaloupe was regularly used in place of a ball.
On the eve of the Republic’s crucial last 16 clash with Spain, video evidence showed McCarthy, wearing a spandex devil costume, forcing a reluctant Matt Holland, dressed as Cinderella, to peddle a pink tricycle over a tightrope while his puzzled teammates threw pineapples from below.
The final straw came when it emerged that McCarthy had forced his players to drink nothing but Bovril for the entirety of the tournament and, despite the sweltering conditions, had replaced the Lucozade in their bottles with the hot beef-based beverage.
The hapless northerner’s time was up and he offered his resignation in November 2002.
Before re-launching his managerial career, McCarthy worked as a pundit for Sky Sports and ITV and also played the role of popular Muppet Bert on American show Sesame Street.
McCarthy took over at Wolves in July 2006 charged with the task of leading the Black Country boys up to the Premier League so they can go down again.