Eamon Dunphy

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Eamon Dunphy
Eamon Dunphy 2013.jpg
Eamon Dunphy in 2013
Personal information
Full name Eamon Martin Dunphy
Date of birth (1945-08-03) 3 August 1945 (age 70)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1962–1965 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1966 York City 22 (3)
1965–1974 Millwall 274 (24)
1973–1975 Charlton Athletic 42 (3)
1975–1977 Reading 77 (3)
1977–1978 Shamrock Rovers 33 (2)
Total 448 (35)
National team
1965–1971 Republic of Ireland 23 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Eamon Martin Dunphy (born 3 August 1945) is an Irish media personality, broadcaster, author, sports pundit and former professional footballer. Since retiring from the sport, he has become recognisable to Irish television audiences as a football analyst during coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and international football on Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ).

As well as his slot with RTÉ, Dunphy has worked for its rival television station, TV3 (for which he has presented a chat show and a game show), and rival radio stations Today FM and Newstalk. He was the original presenter of The Last Word on Today FM. Between 2004 and 2006, Dunphy presented the breakfast programme on Dublin's local Newstalk 106 radio station before it became a national broadcaster. Later he moved to RTÉ Radio 1, where he presented a weekly programme, Conversations with Eamon Dunphy until 2009. He then returned to Newstalk, now broadcasting nationwide, only to leave again in 2011.[1] Dunphy continues to write a column on football for the Irish Daily Star newspaper.

Early life[edit]

Dunphy grew up in Drumcondra, Dublin, in what he described as "a one-room tenement flat [with] no electricity, no hot water".[2][3] He attended Saint Patrick's National School, Drumcondra. In later years, future Taoiseach Bertie Ahern attended the same school.

Club career[edit]

A promising footballer, he left Dublin while still a teenager to join Manchester United as an apprentice. Dunphy did not break into the first team at United and subsequently left to play for York City, Millwall, Charlton Athletic, Reading and Shamrock Rovers. It was at Millwall that Dunphy made the most impact; he was considered an intelligent and skilful player in Millwall's midfield.

Dunphy was a member of "The Class of '71", the Millwall side that lost out on promotion to the old Division One by one point.

In 1977, he accompanied John Giles back to Ireland to join Shamrock Rovers F.C. Giles wanted to make the club Ireland's first full-time professional club and hoped to make Rovers into a force in European football by developing talented young players, who would otherwise go to England, at home. Dunphy was originally intended to be in charge of youth development. However, despite an FAI Cup winners medal in 1978 (his only medal in senior football) and 2 appearances in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Dunphy became disillusioned with the Irish game and dropped out of football altogether to concentrate on a career in journalism.

International career[edit]

Dunphy played 23 times for the Republic of Ireland and remains Millwall's most capped international footballer along with David Forde.[4]

He made his Ireland début in the play-off at the Parc des Princes in Paris for the 1966 FIFA World Cup which Spain won 1–0, thanks to a José Ufarte goal. He went on to become, in his own words, "a good player, not a great player".[5]


After retiring from the game, Dunphy first began writing on football for the Sunday Tribune and then contributing regular columns on both football and current events for the Sunday Independent. He currently writes a column on football for the Daily Star's Irish edition.

He has also worked for Ireland on Sunday (now The Irish Mail on Sunday), The Sunday Press (now defunct), and for the Irish Examiner.[2]

Since the 1980s, Dunphy has written a number of books. His first and most widely praised book is Only a Game?: Diary of a Professional Footballer, which is an autobiographical account of his days playing for Millwall. Dunphy wrote a diary of his 1973–4 season which began well for him at second division Millwall but subsequently ended in disillusionment. Written during the season, it recorded events from the dressing room.

In 1985, rock band U2 and manager Paul McGuinness commissioned him to write the story of their origins, formation, early years and the time leading up to their phenomenally successful album, The Joshua Tree. His book Unforgettable Fire - Past, Present, and Future - The Definitive Biography of U2 was published in 1988. It received some favourable reviews, but critics close to the band spoke of many inaccuracies. A verbal war erupted in the press during which Dunphy called lead singer Bono a "pompous git".[6]

Dunphy has also written a biography of long-serving Manchester United manager Matt Busby and in 2002 ghost wrote the autobiography of Republic of Ireland and Manchester United player Roy Keane.

Broadcasting career[edit]


Since the mid-1980s, Dunphy has regularly appeared as an analyst during football coverage on Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Since RTÉ acquired the rights to show English football, Dunphy has been a regular contributor to Premier Soccer Saturday. He also contributes to analysis of UEFA Champions League games and, in international football, RTÉ's coverage of FIFA World Cups, UEFA European Football Championships and qualifying matches involving the Republic of Ireland national football team. He contributed to RTÉ Sport's coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.[7][8] Dunphy's earnings from RTÉ for his football analysis (plus a radio show) include €328,051 in 2008 and €285,915 in 2007.[9]

In 2001, Dunphy became the first male host of the quiz show The Weakest Link,[2] which aired on TV3, for just one series. In 2003, Dunphy was hired again by TV3 to host their new Friday night chat show, entitled The Dunphy Show. Pitted head-to-head with RTÉ's long-running flagship programme, The Late Late Show, Dunphy's show lost what was a highly publicised "ratings war", and was cancelled before its original run was to conclude.[10]

Dunphy is the first presenter of a made-for-mobile TV show on the 3 mobile network in Ireland. Dunphy's rants and "Spoofer of the Week" are watched by thousands of 3 customers. The shows were awarded "Best Entertainment Show" at Ireland's Digital Media Awards. Dunphy readily admits he never uses a mobile himself but enjoys filming for a mobile audience from the comfort of his own living room in Ranelagh.

In 2009, he made an emotive outburst on The Late Late Show during a discussion regarding then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's financial affairs.[11]


Dunphy has also had a prominent radio career with several stations including Today FM, Newstalk and RTÉ Radio 1.

He was the original host in 1997 of the popular current affairs show The Last Word on Today FM.[12] In September 2004, Dunphy took over The Breakfast Show slot on the Dublin radio station Newstalk 106 from David McWilliams. The show tried to court controversy and listeners in equal measure. He failed to attract the large listenership predicted, with only a few additional thousand tuning in. In June 2006 Dunphy announced his intention to leave Newstalk 106, citing an inability to sustain the demands of an early morning schedule. Subsequent to his departure from Newstalk 106 Dunphy confirmed he was suffering from a viral illness. He later recovered.

In July 2006, RTÉ announced that Dunphy would present a new weekly programme as part of the new RTÉ Radio 1 autumn schedule.[13]

Dunphy rejoined Newstalk but left again in 2011 "due to interference from management and a push to put a more positive spin on the news". On his last show he accused his boss Denis O'Brien of "hating journalism". The Sunday Times, he had quit after Sam Smyth was sacked from Today FM (also owned by O'Brien) and said management at Newstalk were trying to remove "dissenting voices" like Constantin Gurdgiev from the airwaves.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

The deceased satirist Dermot Morgan, known to international audiences as Father Ted, did a much admired Eamon Dunphy impression on the satirical radio show Scrap Saturday. Different sketches had him engaged in apparent inane and ridiculous arguments. They ranged from his criticism of Mother Teresa for not being a real nun to his attack on the week's weather.

Dunphy's hyperbole is also parodied on RTÉ's Après Match show lampooning celebrities, footballers and broadcasters.

Oliver Callan also does an impersonation of Dunphy, of which Dunphy approves.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Dunphy was a daily Mass-goer until he was preparing for marriage to his first wife, Sandra from Salford, when he was 21. He was Catholic and she was Protestant. The priest instructing them for marriage disapproved strongly of the mixed couple, saying that he should not marry her because she was not a proper person. Dunphy's observance was already weakening but he quit his daily Mass-going at this point. He and Sandra had two children, a boy and a girl, and Dunphy is now a grandfather. His first marriage ended and he moved to Castletownshend in Cork for two years on a bender in the early 1990s. He lived with another partner, Inge, before meeting his second wife, RTÉ commissioning editor Jane Gogan, in the Horseshoe Bar in Dublin in 1992. They married at the Unitarian Church on St Stephen's Green on 24 September 2009.[15][16]

In an interview with An Phoblacht Dunphy, who had previously written highly critical articles on the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin, stated that he is now a Sinn Féin supporter and declared he had voted for them in the 2011 general election. He described their representatives as "incredibly hard-working and incredibly intelligent".[17]

He published his autobiography entitled The Rocky Road in October 2013.[18]

Today, Dunphy generally resides at his home near Ranelagh in Dublin. He also owns a holiday home in Deauville, France.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Eamon Dunphy leaving Newstalk with a bang". JOE.ie. 30 October 2011. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Planet Dunphy". The Sunday Business Post, 25 August 2002.
  3. ^ Eamon Dunphy (2 October 2013). "Eamon Dunphy: My Rocky Road". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hall of Fame – Eamon Dunphy". Millwall F.C. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Leahy, Ed (10 November 2011). "Ireland's chequered play-off history". RTÉ Sport (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  6. ^ McGee, Matt (2008). U2: A Diary. Omnibus Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-84772-108-2. 
  7. ^ Black, Fergus (2 June 2010). "RTÉ hopes Ossie and squad will spur fans to back home team". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  8. ^ O'Malley, Carl (2 June 2010). "RTÉ roll out big guns for their 56 live games". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Clarke, Denise (10 October 2009). "Kenny tops the RTÉ richlist". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 10 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Sacked Dunphy in career crisis". Guardian. 7 December 2003. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  11. ^ McCann, Fiona (23 May 2009). "A host of memorable moments". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "Cooper talks the talk". The Sunday Business Post, 23 April 2006.
  13. ^ "Eamon Dunphy is to join RTÉ Radio 1". RTÉ News (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). 7 July 2006. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2006. 
  14. ^ Doohan, Niamh (20 July 2008). "BCI fails to see funny side with warning over radio ads". Sunday Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 20 July 2008. Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy and Senator David Norris had given permission to the charity to have their voices mimicked by Callan for the adverts. 
  15. ^ Mirror, Mirror on the Wall... Sunday Independent, 8 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Sports pundit Dunphy ties the knot". RTÉ Arts (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). 25 September 2009. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  17. ^ Hedges, John (May 2013). "Nobody liked him... but he does care – You haven't heard the last word from Eamon Dunphy". An Phoblacht 36 (5). pp. 16–17. 
  18. ^ "Eamon Dunphy: My Rocky Road". Irish Independent. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  • "Eamon Dunphy". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Retrieved 22 July 2007. 

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