Willie John McBride: "There was some sort of threat on my life and I remember that I had security"

The Irish legend reflects on troubling times when Wales and Scotland refused to travel to Dublin

BY Simon Maguire 20:20 Tuesday 13 March 2018, 20:20 13 Mar 2018

Willie John McBride. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ireland head to England this weekend looking to secure only a third Grand Slam in their history.

The men in green have only ever won twice away in Paris and London in the same year and despite doing so in 1972 - Scotland and Wales refused to travel to Dublin due to The Troubles meaning the Grand Slam dreams ended without a ball being kicked.

Willie John McBride joined Tuesday's Off the Ball and speaking to Nathan, he recalled the difficulties of the time and even a threat to his own life.

"Not only was I a target but in that particular period I was a bank manager and that was bad enough in those days so you were always sort of aware what was going on around you. 

"They were not pleasant days - there's no question about that. But, I can remember at one period over that, I remember going first of all to England and there was some sort of threat on my life and I remember that I had security.

"I also had security in Scotland and I had security in Dublin as well. But, you know, I was one of those people who said: 'You know, I've got to try and live a normal life' and I wasn't aware I had any enemies and I remember saying to one of the security guys who was with me: 'How real is this?' and he said 'I don't know, we don't know - we never know how real it is!' 

"So they were not easy days."

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