Friday 22 March 2019

Not a good pundit, but a great one... Dunphy bows out

Pundit Eamon Dunphy is quitting RTE after 40 years to work on his podcast, The Stand
Pundit Eamon Dunphy is quitting RTE after 40 years to work on his podcast, The Stand
Eamon with former colleague, Leeds United and Ireland star John Giles
Eamon Dunphy with John Giles (left) and Liam Brady

Sports broadcaster and firebrand Eamon Dunphy has left RTE after four decades of a colourful, and sometimes controversial, career.

Dunphy released a statement yesterday, shortly before the national broadcaster announced the departure, in which he revealed he planned to leave two years ago.

However, he said he was asked to stay and was even offered more money.

"Two years ago, I decided not to renew my contract with RTE Sport.

"At the time, they prevailed upon me to stay and, in fact, offered me a rise, a small one, to do so," he said.

Dunphy (72) said he informed managers before the World Cup this summer that he would be leaving and this time it was for good.

He said he would now be focusing on his podcast, The Stand, which was flourishing and had more than 2.3 million listeners.


 "That's where my energy will now be devoted," he said.

"In my 40 years with RTE, I made many good friends and I wish them the very best for the future."

In its statement, RTE paid tribute to Dunphy and confirmed he had decided to depart.

"He is hanging up his boots to pursue other avenues," it said.

Declan McBennett, head of sport, thanked the broadcaster for an "immense" contribution to the station's sports coverage.

"He was there for every key moment throughout that time as we were gripped by the exploits of our international side in particular," he said.

"His insight and analysis informed, enthralled and entertained a nation.

"Eamon has now decided to pursue other avenues and we wish him every success in those ventures."

Dunphy formed part of what would become a classic and much-loved RTE soccer panel chaired by Bill O'Herlihy, who died in 2015, and included John Giles and Liam Brady.

Dunphy began his career on television in 1979, when he also began writing for the Sunday Independent.

His career as a professional footballer began in 1960 with Manchester United before he moved to Milwall in 1965, where he spent nine years.

He later wrote a book about his 1973/74 season with the club called 'Only a Game'. CAPS Dunphy secured 23 international caps, with his debut against Spain in 1966. "If ever a player was out of his class, that night it was me," he later said of his performance.

His career as a writer led him to ghost write Roy Keane's first autobiography and a biography of U2.

He had a history of getting involved in spats with those he wrote about and fell in and out of favour with Roy Keane and Bono.

Most recently, during the abortion referendum, Dunphy's "great friend" journalist John Waters stormed out of his podcast under questioning about his views on the abortion pill.

"You're a b*****d, you are a f**king b*****d. You can f**k off," Waters blasted as he stormed off the show.

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