Dunne following hero's lead

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Richard Dunne admits he will be happy if he does "half as well" for Aston Villa as compatriot Paul McGrath.

McGrath played for Villa for seven years after leaving Manchester United and the Republic of Ireland defender became a cult hero with the Villa fans, and now Dunne - who has also been a major player for Ireland - is looking to also make a similarly big impact at Villa Park after his £6million switch from Manchester City last week.

Dunne said: "Paul McGrath was one of my heroes. When he was still playing for Ireland, I would always watch him. To do half as well as he did here (at Villa) would be amazing. He's a person I've met a few times and I really respect him. Anyone you speak to in Ireland will tell you he is a legend."

He added: "He is the best there's been in Ireland for the last 20 years. He is a player who will always have to be lived up to.

"The likes of myself and the younger players coming through will always idolise him.

"I played in his testimonial. He is a really quiet, shy man who is really nice. He is liked wherever he goes.

"I've read his autobiography. I can understand why people still talk about him here at Villa because he will be spoken about in Ireland for the next 50 years I'd imagine.

"He was one of the world's greatest footballers so for him to have played here and had the success he did was brilliant."

Dunne is set to make his Villa debut in Sunday's derby with Birmingham at St. Andrews.

Meanwhile, right-back Luke Young, back in contention following a thigh problem, could play his first game of the season following the death of his half brother.

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Paul McGrath
Manchester City
Premier League
Luke Young
Manchester United
Richard Dunne
Aston Villa

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