Belfast Telegraph

David Moyes sacked: Portrush still believes in adopted son

By Joanne Sweeney

David Moyes will be back on top again thanks to the inherited strength of his stoic Ulster-Scots family background.

That's the verdict from his adopted home town of Portrush as news of his sacking made the headlines.

However, loyalties were torn yesterday between devoted Man United fans and people who have come to know the Premier League manager as a regular visitor to the town.

His mother Joan McAllister was born and raised in Portrush and the ousted Old Trafford supremo retains a strong connection to the area with an extended family of uncles and cousins.

He regularly travels to Portrush to visit his mother's grave at Ballywillan cemetery. The Moyes family also arranged for a summer seat facing out to sea at Portrush harbour in memory of Mrs Moyes.

She met his Scottish father David senior in Portrush as a young woman before they courted, married and made Scotland their home.

David jnr once told an interviewer: "I don't talk about it too much. I was brought up in a Christian family. I go to church whenever I can."

Like his famous predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes got involved in football through the Boys Brigade.

Last night one of his biggest supporters in Northern Ireland, Victor Leonard, the man behind the Dale Farm Milk Cup, spoke of how his friend would cope with the very public failure.

"David is an absolute gentleman, I can't say anything better about him and he has always given the Milk Cup his full support and made time for everyone when he's over here," Mr Leonard said.

"He comes from a good family background and with his strong Ulster and Scots roots, I'm sure will help him get through this.

"I'm a Man United supporter, so I just hope that this decision doesn't come back to haunt United, as he will come back stronger and will be a better manager and a better man for it.

"If he had been given another year, he would have pulled things around."

Further Reading

Manchester United: David Moyes not only one to blame 

Ryan Giggs will bring flair back to Manchester United... for four games at least 

David Moyes at Manchester United: the good bits

David Moyes sacked: Newcastle or Aston Villa next for former Manchester United manager?

David Moyes sacked: Northern Ireland Manchester United fans split over axing of 'Chosen One'

David Moyes sacked: What really went on at Old Trafford?

Manchester United target Louis van Gaal could replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson gave green light to sack David Moyes

David Moyes speaks after Manchester United sacking

Ryan Giggs is perfect fit for Manchester United manager's job... in longer term 

Last night Coleraine native and former Newcastle United player and manager Iam McFaul expressed sympathy for Moyes' current predicament.

"I feel for him, even though I've never met him," said the man who was sacked as manager of his beloved Newcastle in 1989 after four seasons at the helm, following 18 years as a player and coach at the St James's Park club.

"I personally feel that he should have had more time.

"The fans have been used to so much success that they don't like the position they are in today.

"But he will certainly be picked up by another top club, have no fear about that."

The former Northern Ireland goalkeeper added: "Things were different in my day; today's fans expect success, but football is fickle.

Sports psychologist Dr Gavin Breslin from the University of Ulster believes that Moyes can overcome the setback if he attributes the reasons for his sacking to not having sufficient time in the job to stamp his leadership at Old Trafford.

Speaking from New York last night while advising the city's Village Lions rugby team, he said: "Human beings tend to look at causes for why things didn't work and what we can attribute this to.

"Whether you are David Moyes or just yourself, we need to make sense of things.

"One of the things we do is to look for internal factors, which is usually our ability, or if it is due to something external to us.

"He may struggle to come to terms with this if he sees this as an internal factor to do with his own ability. But I believe that if he attributes this to a lot of things that were happening in the team, the climate and club culture change, then he will be more successsful dealing with this.

"If he considers that he would have needed six years, that he wasn't given that time or support, he will protect his self-esteem and move on.".


David Moyes had only 10 months as Man United manager before his sacking yesterday.

Regarded as Sir Alex Ferguson's protege and the man to carry on his championship winning legacy, he was dogged with disappointing match performance.

Unlike the other 'new boy' premiership manager Brendan Rodgers from Co Down, the clock was ticking for Moyes.

The popular former Everton FC manager once played for Celtic FC while his father David Snr scouted for Rangers.

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