Eoin Hand with Frank Stapleton
|Full name||Eoin Kevin Joseph Colin Hand|
|Date of birth||30 March 1946|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Republic of Ireland|
|1973||→ Port Elizabeth City (loan)||?||(?)|
|1975||→ Lusitano (loan)||?||(?)|
|1969–1975||Republic of Ireland||20||(2)|
|1979||League of Ireland XI||1||(0)|
|1979–1983||Limerick United F.C.|
|1984–1985||St Patrick's Athletic F.C.|
|1980–1985||Republic of Ireland|
|1988–1992||Huddersfield Town F.C.|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Eoin Kevin Joseph Colin Hand (born 30 March 1946) is an Irish former footballer and football manager. As a player, his normal position was centre-half. He works as a television and radio football commentator for RTÉ in Ireland.
Hand played schoolboy football with Stella Maris in Drumcondra. As a 17-year old, Hand was signed by Swindon Town but the move did not work out and he returned quickly to Ireland. He started his League of Ireland career with short spells for Dundalk F.C. and Shelbourne F.C. but it was with Drumcondra F.C. that he found most success.
After a series of outstanding displays, he was signed by Portsmouth F.C. for a transfer fee of £8,000 in October 1968. Hand impressed enough at Portsmouth to earn a call up to the Republic of Ireland national football team and went on to earn 19 caps for his country. He stayed with Portsmouth until being released at the end of the 1975–76 season. After a brief spell in South Africa, Hand was persuaded back into football by Shamrock Rovers making his debut on 9 October 1977 at Glenmalure Park. However after only nine games he returned to Portsmouth F.C. He left again in 1979, after playing a total of 277 times in the league for them.
In 1979, Hand was appointed player-manager of Limerick United. He immediately sparked a revival in Limerick's fortunes and they won the 1979–80 League of Ireland in Hand's first season. They landed a European Cup tie with Real Madrid and Hand was rewarded with the Irish national team manager's job. He was the 1980 Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland Personality of the Year. He also won the FAI Cup in 1982. For a short time, he tried to combine both jobs but with business commitments in Dublin, he left Limerick and concentrated on the Ireland job.
In Hand's first World Cup qualifying campaign, Ireland narrowly lost out to France on goal difference. Ireland conceded a late goal to Belgium after having what most commentators describe as a 'perfectly good goal' disallowed. The image of Hand on the bench with his head in his hands post match is widely shown in Ireland as one of Irish sport's most heartbreaking images.  .
Ireland finished an unremarkable third in the qualifying campaign for Euro 84 and, shortly afterwards, Hand combined club and international management again when he was appointed manager of St Patrick's Athletic FC, however, he stayed only one season with the Dublin club. His managerial contract was finished when he failed to qualify for the 1986 World Cup; he was replaced by Jack Charlton.
Hand successfully underwent an operation for pancreatitis in 1997, after which he gave up smoking and drinking. Eoin worked for the FAI in a support role for Irish players developing their career in Football but was let go in July 2012. He is also heavily involved in his passion for playing music and devoting his spare time to raising funds for charities.
- League of Ireland
- Limerick F.C. 1979/80
- FAI Cup
- Limerick F.C. 1982
- SWAI Personality of the Year
- Limerick F.C. – 1980
- The Hoops by Paul Doolan and Robert Goggins (ISBN 0-7171-2121-6)
- "RTÉ Sport shows unparalleled commitment to Eircom League", RTÉ, 9 November 2006
- "SWAI Personality of the Year", Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
- "99 Years & Counting" Volume 1, Alan Hodgson, Ian Thomas, Gwen Thomas and John Ward, Huddersfield Town, 2007.
- The History of Shelbourne F.C., Planet Shels. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
- "Giving young soccer stars a guiding Hand", Carlow Nationalist, 28 January 2000