Friday 21 October 2016

John Giles: Johnny Fullam was a true Irish great

Johnny Fullam tackles Pele on ground
Johnny Fullam tackles Pele on ground

I knew Johnny Fullam for a very long time and I'm very sad to hear that he has passed away. We're losing too many of the good ones.

I played against Johnny as a schoolboy and our paths crossed in England when he signed for Preston. I remember meeting him towards the end of his spell there and he told me he wanted to head back to Dublin.

Preston were going through tough times and Johnny was obviously homesick so he went back and proceeded to put together a League of Ireland CV which is up there with the very best - first for Shamrock Rovers and then for Bohemians.

I often wonder what might have happened if he had stayed and carried on in England but when you see the scale of his wonderful career in Ireland, it's hard to think he really missed out on anything.

He was a player and as he showed during his career, comfortable in midfield or at the back. It is a testimony to his great ability and professionalism that he is revered on both sides of the city - in Rovers' new home in Tallaght and in Dalynount Park.

He will be sadly missed and my thoughts are with his wife Patricia and his family.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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