Sheffield United: Millwall's Kevin Muscat could have become a Blade claims Derek Geary

Neil Warnock might have labelled him the “nastiest player” he has ever come across but Derek Geary, who witnessed Kevin Muscat’s headbutt on his team mate Paddy Kenny during an infamous game against Millwall nearly two decades ago, believes the former Sheffield United manager wouldn’t have hesitated to sign the Australian defender had the opportunity arisen.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:30 pm

“The gaffer used to call him all the names under the sun,” Geary told The Star, “Especially after what happened in the tunnel down there all those years ago. But I tell you what, even though he never told any of us this publicly, I reckon he’d have jumped at the chance to bring Muscat up here if he could have done.”

Born in Crawley but brought up in Victoria, Muscat was still settling into life at The Den after leaving Rangers when he sparked an incident which has become part of United folklore.

He was never selected for an Old Firm derby during his time in Glasgow, something which has been attributed to then manager Alex McLeish’s concerns about his temperament.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

United, who renew their rivalry with Millwall at Bramall Lane tomorrow evening, were drawing 0-0 during a visit to south London in 2004 when Muscat’s assault on their goalkeeper sparked a mass half-time brawl. Both players were shown red cards, which meant United were forced to put centre-half Phil Jagielka between the posts. Falling behind early in the second period they won the contest thanks to Geary’s spectacular finish following Andy Liddell’s equaliser.

Despite his fearsome reputation, Muscat received only six red cards during a career in England which also included spells with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace. He left Millwall soon after that clash with Kenny, returning to his adopted homeland to join Melbourne Victory before finishing his career with Sunshine George Cross; the club where he learnt his trade.

After becoming Victory’s assistant manager, Muscat spent six years in charge of the A-League side - winning two Championship and one Premiership titles, as well as being named coach of the year.

He moved to Sint Truiden last year but was sacked due to poor results and is now manager of J-League outfit Yokohama Marinos.

Sheffield United's goalkeeper Paddy Kenny takes the ball from Millwall's Kevin Muscat during the Coca-Cola Championship match at The Den, London, Saturday December 4, 2004. PA Photo: Max Nash
Former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Derek Geary scores his famous goal against Millwall