By Stephen Byrne
The Fifa World Cup begins in Brazil on 12th June and we will be looking at Rovers’ connections with all participating countries.
Mercurial Rovers winger Miah Dennehy won his first international cap for the Republic of Ireland when they played Ecuador in June 1972. It was the first of only two occasions the two countries have met and the Irish secured a 3-2 victory in Natal.
Dennehy was born in Cork in March 1950 and joined Rovers in a £20,000 deal from Walsall in July 1978. His six goals in 47(+5) League matches included a hat-trick against Swansea City on Boxing Day 1979 and he moved on in September 1980 to Trowbridge Town.
Despite his Argentinian heritage, Walter Otta appeared for many clubs around the world. He scored for Walsall when they drew a Freight Rover Trophy tie 2-2 with Rovers in December 1998 and, after spells in Chile, Spain, Honduras, Bolivia, Portugal and Peru, he signed for the Ecuadorean side Manta in 2003. Otta scored once in seven matches in the top flight in Ecuador.
Born to an Ecuadorian father and a Northern Irish mother, Laurie Sanchez played for Northern Ireland and scored the only goal of the 1988 FA Cup Final. He also played five times for Reading against Rovers between 1981 and 1984.