It’s the end of an era for Irish football fans today as Johnny Giles prepares to hang up his broadcasting boots.
The voice of reason for RTE’s soccer coverage is bowing out after tonight’s Euro 2016 Final but joked that he might be persuaded to hit the town with his old pal Eamon Dunphy afterwards.
He told The Irish Sun on Sunday: “I haven’t anything planned for after the Final. I’m hoping it will be low-key and I don’t know if they’ve anything lined up.”
The final goodbye: Johnny Giles is leaving RTE after the Euro 2016 final and fans are not happy |RTE
When asked if Dunphy can tempt him to celebrate with a wild night on the town, Johnny, 75, joked: “Never say never! I don’t rule anything out.”
And Eamon, 70, paid tribute to his pal, saying: “We’ve been together so long, it will seem strange on the last day when John’s not going to be doing it any more.
“In terms of television he made a huge difference to the credibility of the panel. He’s thoughtful, effective and right about most of the things he’s talking about, which is very important. He’s always right, which helps.
Johnny’s analysis has been a fan favourite for the past 30 years but revealed that RTÉ’s Group Head of Sport Ryle Nugent told him last year that his current RTÉ contract would not be renewed.
He previously said: “I met with Ryle Nugent last year. It was clear to me that this was my final contract, which is fair enough. I have no bad feelings about that. RTÉ are entitled to do what they want to do and what they think is best for the future.
“I wouldn’t argue my case. Don’t go where you’re not wanted. I knew that was the situation.”
However, he won’t be slowing down and will continue his work with Newstalk’s Off The Ball and his newspaper column.
See some fan tributes to Johnny below…
— irishbirdy (@irishbirdy2) July 10, 2016
John Giles will analyse his last game for RTE this Sunday. He's the best football analyst RTE has ever had. He'll be missed. #rtesoccer
— Aodan Wrenn (@aodanwrenn) July 7, 2016
John Giles last day as pundit on RTE TV on Sunday. Momentous day for armchair soccer fans. Informative & likeable. An institution! #EURO2016
— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) July 7, 2016
Come on RTE. Offer John Giles a new contract for crying out loud.
— Marcus Stead (@MarcusStead) July 2, 2016