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Eamon Dunphy - Autobiography
During his TV3 interview with journalist Ursula Halligan, broadcast in January 2010, Eamon Dunphy mentioned that he was working on his memoirs. Given his varied and somewhat chequered background it should make for very interesting reading. Although he has limited number of titles to his name he is an accomplished writer. Add to this that he has never been regarded as someone that pulls his punches his autobiography could make for an explosive publication that could turn out to be a hit with the public and the critics alike. Then again if, as most people suspect - although he denied it in his TV3 interview, that he craves and courts controversy can we be sure that his memoirs will contain his real views or will he load his autobiography with headline grabbers just for the sake of grabbing a headline.
What will make it into Eamon Dunphy's Autobiography?
Possible Non-Football Issues for the Dunphy Memoirs
Nevertheless the thing that interests me is what will make it into the Dunphy autobiography and what will he leave out. He has been involved in a lot of controversial incidents over the year and while this is a a soccer site I have to admit to what his take on some of his non-football related antics. During his interview with Halligan he touched off a few tasty morsels that, perhaps, we've heard or read about but weren't covered in a lot of detail in the public arena. Things such as his admitted cocaine usage while working on talk radio show. He told Halligan that he didn't use much and it was just part of his mid-life crisis. Then there is his multiple drink driving offences - he was given a ten year driving ban for that. Around the same time Eamon Dunphy was also taken off the air and suspended by RTE when he reportedly turned up drunk at the TV studies for coverage of an early morning match between Japan and Russia during the 2002 Word Cup finals. Dunphy said at the time "I was not actually drunk - I had been. I had not been terribly drunk, but I had not slept, or been to bed." Despite this and the drink driving ban Dunphy claimed during the TV3 interview that he was not a "big drinker". I'm not sure if he was referring to the amount he drinks or his physical stature - apparently he is 5' 2" in height.
Football-related issues for the Eamon Dunphy Book
My first recollection of Eamon Dunphy's penchant for courting controversy was during the 1984 Euro championship finals. At the start of the tournament Dunphy refused to go along with the consensus view that Michel Platini was a great player. "He's a god player - not a great player." Dunphy maintained this position right throughout the tournament as the French, led magnificently by Platini, swept all before them and beat Spain in the final 2-0. Michel Platini scored in every match including two hat tricks in the group stages. He won the golden boot as top scorer with nine goals from five matches. Even after the final Dunphy brazenly maintained that Platini was simply a "good player" on the basis that the French genius didn't have the right "values" - whatever that meant. Maybe Dunphy's memoirs will clarify matters all these years later.
More recently Dunphy has espoused controversially contrarian views on other important figures in Irish soccer and beyond. If it truly is an honest autobiography perhaps Dunphy will recant on his view that Roy Keane is a "gentleman", or that Niall Quinn is a "creep", or that Steven Gerrard is a "nothing player", or that Peter Schmeichel is a "big blonde baby in a man's world", or that Cristiano Ronaldo is a "A puffball. Will never be a player as long as he has a hole in his ****". Surely he will have to recant on some of these views - but then maybe not - we are talking about Eamon Dunphy here.
Finally I would like to think that Dunphy will conduct a honest review and analysis of his comments on, and views of, former Republic of Ireland managers Jack Charlton and Mick McCarthy. Surely as the only two Irish managers that have succeeded in leading the Republic to the finals of a major championships (something that his fellow soccer pundit and friend Johnny Giles failed to do). Charlton and McCarthy represent the two most successful Irish football managers ever and have served Irish soccer well. Surely if it is an honest autobiography Dunphy will admit that he was wrong. In the TV3 interview he said that his working title for his memoirs is "Wrong About Everything".
Is this tongue in cheek or does it suggest that Eamon Dunphy will take the opportunity to come clean on his real views in his autobiography? Only time will tell.
This article was written in January 2010. Eamon Dunphy's autobiography was published in October 2013. You can read our review of it here: The Rocky Road.
Who Stole Our Game: The Fall and Fall of Irish Soccer; Daire Whelan (2006); Gill & Macmillan Ltd