Proud Scot Willie Has ‘Green’ Link

Willie Carr in recent years, at a golf day bearing the name of a latter-day Wolves star. Picture courtesy of Tony Thomas.
Willie Carr in recent years, at a golf day bearing the name of a latter-day Wolves star. Picture courtesy of Tony Thomas.

Irish Eyes For Midfielder

Willie Carr will be rooting for the Republic of Ireland in the forthcoming World Cup play-off games – and not just because he sides with all the home nations.

The diminutive former Molineux midfielder, although born in Glasgow,¬†has Irish blood from each of his parents’ families and could have found himself with a dilemma had he been playing now.

“My second name, McIanny, is an Irish surname from somewhere back in the family and I probably have some aunts and uncles from over there, although I haven’t been that close to them due to living in England for 46 years,” he said.

“These days, I suppose I would have been allowed to play for Scotland or Ireland. But, in reality, there wouldn’t have been a choice at all! My family wouldn’t have let me play for anyone else and I wouldn’t have wanted to.

“I only won six senior caps but I ‘m glad that I got to represent the country of my birthplace. I’m a proud Scotsman.

“Over the next week and a bit, though, I’ll be supporting the Irish in their play-off games. I’m not one of these people who wants all the other home countries to lose. Not unless they’re playing Scotland anyway.”

Carr, who played 289 first-team games for Wolves after joining them in 1975, had a toe in the English system when going to Crystal Palace for trials with England Schoolboys after moving south to Cambridge with his father in 1963.

A place in the side eluded him but he graduated via Scotland under-23s to a place in their senior side, his debut coming in Belfast in 1970 against a Northern Ireland team containing Derek Dougan and George Best.

“I was too small at schoolboy level,” he added. “I was 5ft 1in and a bit and seemed to be surrounded by six-footers like Jeff Blockley, who became a team-mate at Coventry¬†and Peter Shilton.

Carr shoots for goal at Carlisle in 1977.

“Alun Evans was there as well before making his debut for Wolves a year or two later and he looked quite a player.

“I was disappointed not to break back into the Scotland side after moving to Molineux. I played under three different Scottish managers but didn’t win another cap after 1973.

“Tommy Docherty told me years later that he accepted he should have used me more and I thought to myself: ‘Well, thanks for saying that now!'”