I was playing ever since I was 15 at Home Farm in Ireland but every school holiday I was playing for Manchester United as a trainee. Manchester United offered me an apprenticeship but I wanted to finish school and the year I finished school I went to Celtic in Scotland for a trial where I was going to be signed up.
I wanted to play in England despite even Dundalk wanting to sign me up also. The manager of Dundalk approached Liverpool and told them that I may be the player they're looking for. So I went to Liverpool in the summer for a 2-week trial and by June-July they decided they wanted to keep me. I was pretty nervous about going there but my dad told me I might as well start at the top!
Ronnie Whelan in an interview by Malta's LFC supporters club
"Came over from Ireland as a young boy at 18 years of age. Scored on his debut against Stoke City I think and just carried on from there. A good goalscorer, good passer and good runner. A determined and hard midfield player who was very underrated."
Kenny Dalglish on Ronnie Whelan
"The Spurs fans were already toasting their victory when Ronnie Whelan popped up and whipped his goal in to equalize in the dying seconds. It took a good player to do that because Ray Clemence was still a great goalkeeper, he’d kept Spurs in the game.
Paisley would not let us sit down before extra time started. He was bellowing: ‘Get up off your feet, don’t them let them see you are tired.’ It stemmed from Shankly, who would never let an opponent see that you were weak. After that, we felt we had it in the bag."
Phil Neal on the 1982 Milk Cup final vs. Tottenham
"The injuries didn't help me. Every time I got fit I'd get another injury. It was just non-stop for four years. When I was fit I didn't play too many games. I was a bit disappointed with Souey when he took the club captaincy off me and gave it to Mark Wright. I'd worn the number five shirt for so many years and when the names and squad numbers were introduced I got number 12. It doesn't make you think you're wanted that much in the team. All in all it wasn't great for me the last few years."
Ronnie Whelan on his last years at Liverpool
"A lot of people said I would be on my way when John Barnes came but Kenny moved me back into the centre. That was my best years. I loved playing in the centre. I loved being involved all the time, although I didn't score as many goals because I was more defensive and Macca did the runs forward. I knew I was there to win the ball back and give it to the likes of Beardsley and Barnes. And I knew when I played on the left side of midfield it was more of a holding job and maybe get around the back and score a few goals.
I did the job they wanted me to do. I didn't try to do anything spectacular. I couldn't dribble. I was a good passer of the ball. I could read the game well. I could break up attacks and start them off very quickly. The managers and the players appreciated the job more than some of the supporters."
Ronnie Whelan on his role at Liverpool
Over the course of a decade, Whelan made the transition from thrusting inside forward to holding midfield player, executing every role asked of him with class. It's the goals most people remember, the two that saw off Tottenham in the 1982 League Cup final and curling the ball into the Manchester United net at Wembley on the way to winning the same trophy a year later. Yet there was so much more to Whelan who, almost more than any other player I've seen in a red shirt, understood how to control the tempo of a game.
Tony Evans from Times online captures the essence of Ronnie Whelan