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Wednesday 24 September 2014

John Giles: I never had any ambition to get the Freedom of Dublin

Published 02/09/2014 | 09:14

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John Giles is to be awarded Freedom of the City
John Giles is to be awarded Freedom of the City

Irish football legend John Giles has said it is a great honour to have been awarded the Freedom of Dublin but admitted it wasn't something he had ever previously considered.

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RTE pundit and former Ireland star John Giles and Brother Kevin Crowley, who set up the Capuchin Day Centre which provides meals for over 800 people every day, will become the 77th and 78th recipients of the honour and the former international player and manager says it was a pleasant surprise when he was told of the accolade.

"I got a phonecall about two weeks and then it was leaked out," he told RTE Radio One's This Morning programme.

"When I started playing football as a young man in Dublin, I had no ambition to be a freeman of the city. I never really gave it much thought."

"It’s great for my family, friends and the football community. It’s a great honour for everybody," he added.

Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke put forward the two nominations which were approved by city councillors last night. The awards ceremony will take place next year.

Giles admitted that the 'John Giles Foundation', which provides grants to clubs at grassroots level gives him a great deal of satisfaction.

"Kids need facilities now more than ever. When I was a kid we played on the streets, but that's not safe anymore."

"I meet a lot of people around the country (through the foundation) who are fantastic."

"I love it."

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