Mick McCarthy reveals how train journey to Sunderland to buy a car sparked rumours of return to Wearside
When Chris Coleman was sacked as Sunderland boss, one of the early favourites for the job was ex-Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy.
The speculation went into overdrive at the end of April when he was spotted in the North East, the day after Coleman was relieved of his duties ahead of the summer takeover.
McCarthy, who has since been appointed Republic of Ireland boss, was pictured in the region at the Travelling Man pub in West Boldon and also at the Cooper BMW garage nearby.
And he has now revealed the full story of why he was in the region that day, he was simply buying a car.
His train journey to Sunderland – to buy a car for his daughter – fuelled rumours he would succeed Coleman at the Stadium of Light.
"That was brilliant," McCarthy told the Irish Mirror.
"Dave Bowman was my chief scout – he works at Ipswich and worked with Ireland as well. He had a car for two years, leased it. He looks after it so I said, ‘I’ll buy that, it looks good,’ He said, ‘Okay the garage is up in Sunderland.
"So I jump on the train on the Monday morning (in late April) and they’ve sacked Chris Coleman the night before.
"So I’m sat in this carriage, there is nobody else in it and the cleaner comes in. He’s walking towards me and he sees me.
"He walks past and goes to the next carriage. Then he comes back and has another look and goes, ‘You’re Mick McCarthy aren’t you?’
"I said, ‘I am yes.’ He goes, ‘You’re going to get the Sunderland job aren’t you?’ I said, ‘I’m not’. He said, ‘I don’t believe you.’
"I said, ‘I’m going to buy a car, I’ve got to get the train up.’ He said, ‘I don’t believe you.’ I was, ‘Okay, then don’t believe me.’
"So he goes back out and then comes back in, and it’s ‘Anyway, I’ve had 100 quid on you at 11-1’."