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"I'll tell you who wrote it" | Remembering Eamon Dunphy's rant 16 years on

OTB looks back on Eamon Dunphy's Rod Liddle rant, 16-years on.

Enda Coll
Enda Coll

17:46 17 Nov 2021



Soccer

"I'll tell you who wrote it" | Remembering Eamon Dunphy's rant 16 years on

Enda Coll
Enda Coll

17:46 17 Nov 2021

It's 16 years since Roy Keane left Manchester United. 

While Keane left Old Trafford in the aftermath of an infamous rant on MUTV, it was a rant on RTÉ that evening which has lived on in the infamy of Irish pop-culture.

It all started with Liverpool against Real Betis in the Champions League.

Roy Keane's explosive exit from Manchester United had come earlier that day and so it was the leading topic of conversation on the Champions League broadcast. Ahead of the game, the panel debated comments made about Keane by Rod Liddle of The Sunday Times, in which Liddle was scathing about Keane's injuring of Alf Inge Halaand.

Liddle wrote that "in fact, if this was a decent world, he [Keane] wouldn't get the chance to sign for another club because he'd still be banged up and certainly banned from the game for life.

Dunphy's rant is not exactly what you could describe as 'to the point', first he has a back and forth debate with Liam Brady, initially bringing up the issue of Saipan and his transfer from Nottingham Forest.

Then he gets to his main point, the créme de la créme.

"This is a man who doesn't showboat like Niall Quinn. Who actually goes to the hospital to visit sick children", Dunphy begins.

"This is a man who is family man, he is a credit to his country and to his family. I'm not going to listen to him be called a thug by you."

Bill O'Herlihy stands his ground.

"Hang on a second, don't misquote me. I said that was written", Bill sits back in his chair in defiance.

"Who's view is it? Which column, by who?", Dunphy questions in anger.

At this point, Bill can clearly see Dunphy is leading him down an alley he doesn't want to go.

"It's on the back page of the Sunday Times last week, look it up", O'Herlihy says in the hope this will kill the debate dead in its tracks...it doesn't.

"Who wrote it?", Dunphy continues.

"I can't remember his name.", O'Herlihy responds.

This is where we reach the peak, the line that will be remembered in Irish football folklore forever.

"I'll tell you who wrote it, I can remember his name."

"Rod Liddle. He's the guy who ran away and left his wife for a young one."

If social media was around at the time, there's a strong chance this incredibly important event in Irish football history either gets shared to the millions, or it gets quashed for legal reasons.

Instead it remains one of those stories that is shared and talked about every so often in the pub.

Liddle himself responded to the comments the following day on RTÉ's liveline and has since sat down with Balls.ie to give his thoughts on the rant.

While Liddle admits that he taken aback at the time, ultimately, as Dunphy tends to be from time to time, he was correct.

"It annoyed Eamon but he did as he always does: he spoke from the heart, he spoke eloquently and, even if the stuff he said about me was a bit nasty... he wasn’t wrong."

Football on Off The Ball, brought to you by Sky. All the football you love in one place across Sky Sports, BT Sport & Premier Sports.

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