Pat Crerand : biography
Patrick Timothy "Pat" (or "Paddy") Crerand (born 19 February 1939) is a Scottish former footballer. After six years at Celtic he moved to Manchester United where he was a member of teams that won the English League title twice, the FA Cup and European Cup. He also gained 16 international caps for Scotland.
He spent one season managing Northampton Town and has since forged a career in the media. He started on radio, and now commentates on matches for MUTV.
Upbringing and personal life
Crerand was born to Irish immigrants in the Gorbals area of Glasgow on 19 February 1939. His father was Michael Crerand from Newtownstewart, County Tyrone and his mother was Sarah ‘Tim’ Boyle from Gweedore, County Donegal, where he spent much of his childhood. His father was killed by a German aircraft during the Second World War in Glasgow whilst Crerand was still a child.
He married Noreen Ferry, a Scottish girl of Irish descent, in 1963. They have three children, Patrick, Lorraine and Danny, who was also a professional footballer. He also has eight grandchildren. Scarlett, Chelsea, Danny, Eina, Ursula, Jade, Saoirse and Nicholas. In 2007, he released his autobiography Never Turn the Other Cheek.
Crerand became involved in Irish politics during the Troubles. Crerand said in his autobiography that he was a friend of John Hume and he had talked to IRA members, including Martin McGuinness, in an effort to resolve the rent strikes of 1975.
After six years at Celtic (120 appearances, 5 goals), he signed for Manchester United on 6 February 1963, the fifth anniversary of the Munich air disaster, making his debut against Blackpool. He was a hard-tackling midfielder who, while known for his tenacity and tackling ability, was also an accurate passer, creating chances for attacking players such as Bobby Charlton and George Best.
He helped United to the league championship in 1965 and 1967 and won winners’ medals in the 1963 FA Cup Final and 1968 European Cup Final. He represented the Scottish national side on 16 occasions and the Scottish League XI. Crerand was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in November 2011.
He retired from playing in 1971, having appeared in 401 games, scoring 19 goals for United. After retiring as a player, he became a coach at United, becoming assistant manager under Tommy Docherty when Docherty was appointed as manager in December 1972. However, Docherty added Frank Blunstone and Tommy Cavanagh to his coaching team soon after, and the arrival of Blunstone and Cavanagh saw Crerand sidelined in Docherty’s team. Crerand left United in 1976. Crerand was manager of Northampton Town in 1976–77 and covered United matches on local radio in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Today, he appears regularly on MUTV, Manchester United’s television channel, as a co-commentator on its coverage of all Manchester United first-team and reserve matches, as well as appearing as a pundit on the phone-in show ‘The Paddy Crerand Show", where he receives calls from supporters and discusses all things Manchester United. Crerand had previously summarised United matches for Piccadilly Radio in the 1990s before joining MUTV.
In February 2009, Crerand was part of the Manchester United contingent that visited Malta to commemorate the 50th year anniversary of the Malta Manchester United Supporters’ Club, the oldest supporters club in the world. During this visit, MUTV and Crerand provided local fans with the opportunity to form part of the audience for his phone-in show.
In 1995, Crerand supported Eric Cantona during the time of his infamous kung-fu kick on Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons. Both before and after this incident, Crerand became known for being a ‘cheerleader’ for the Old Trafford club in media.
On 10 December 2012, Crerand had a hostile reaction during an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, where he was asked about Rio Ferdinand being struck by a coin from the home crowd during the previous day’s Manchester derby.