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Thursday 8 December 2016

Packie Bonner: Dunphy was like Judas at USA '94

Anita Guidera

Published 28/10/2010 | 05:00

SOCCER pundit Eamon Dunphy has been likened to Judas Iscariot by legendary Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner.

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The mild-mannered former Celtic star made the comment in a revealing interview for a new book, entitled 'Donegal's Sporting Greats'. Bonner described his personal devastation when Ireland were knocked out of the World Cup in the US in 1994 following a two-nil defeat by Holland. One of the goals was due to a mistake by Bonner. The match was at a time when Dunphy's criticism of then manager, Jack Charlton -- which had begun four years earlier when he described the team as a disgrace -- had reached feud status.

"That was the worst moment of my life from a sporting point of view.

"I'm not ashamed to say I cried in the dressing room after the game and felt I had let everybody down.

"It wasn't what I had imagined the World Cup to be. I can't put into words how disappointed I was and it took me a while to come around," he recalled.

"I spent a fair while in the hotel room before eventually heading downstairs where the rest of the team and their families and friends were.

"The first person I met was Eamon Dunphy. He gave me a big kiss and I couldn't help thinking about Judas. Thank God he left me alone," he said.

Bonner now works as a technical director with the FAI. 'Donegal's Sporting Greats' by local journalist Ciaran O'Donnell will be launched next week.

Irish Independent

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