Martin O'Neill is one of British football's true greats. Plucked from Irish club Distillery by Nottingham Forest in 1971, the young Irishman went on an incredible football journey that saw him clash against some of the game's biggest characters. He twice won the European cup with Forest under the enigmatic Brian Clough - though the two never saw eye-to-eye. A talented midfielder, O'Neill played for Manchester City in between spells at Norwich before ending his playing career in 1985. As the first Roman Catholic captain of his country, O'Neill marshalled Northern Ireland's golden generation, who battled through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1982, picking up a famous win against hosts Spain on the way. But football was by no means the only path O'Neill could have taken. His has been a life of choice. Opting for football over Gaelic football as a youth, O'Neill was then forced to curtail a law degree at Queens University Belfast to make the switch to England, although his interest in criminology hasn't diminished. O'Neill cut his football management teeth at Grantham Town and Shepshed Dynamo, and his stock grew as he took Wycombe Wanderers from the GM Vauxhall Conference to the old Second Division in a matter of years. Under his tutelage, Leicester City went from under-achieving first division outfit to League Cup winners. However it was at Celtic that O'Neill would enjoy his most trophy-laden years, winning an unprecedented treble in his first year before narrowly missing out on UEFA Cup glory a year later. O'Neill would leave Celtic, his 'spiritual home', to care for his wife Geraldine as she was battling cancer. Returning to football in 2006, O'Neill undertook his first Premier League job, guiding Aston Villa to an impressive 6th place finish in only his second season in charge, and scoring a massive 71 goals in the process - a feat only bettered by Aston Villa's title winning side of 1981. His time at the club came to an adrupt end, however, as O'Neill severed ties with Aston Villa at the start of the 2010-11 season, three months after guiding the club to it's first final in over 10 years.