Sunday 4 December 2016

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Published 26/02/2012 | 05:00

Wearside kudos for mighty Quinn

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I was very sad to hear about Niall Quinn leaving Sunderland. The word 'legend' can often be overused in football but in the case of Niall Quinn such praise is richly deserved.

The charismatic Irishman has done so much for Sunderland FC and the city with his vision, enthusiasm, intelligence, passion and ambition. I can't think of another individual who has had such an impact on Wearside. Having had the great honour of meeting the man several times, he oozes class.

I remember leaving Southend's Roots Hall ground in August 2006 having witnessed a 3-1 defeat which left Sunderland propping up the Championship table and thinking that there was a very real chance that SAFC could end up as the next Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City, Notts County, Huddersfield, Grimsby, etc but Quinn and his Drumaville Consortium had other ideas and brought in Roy Keane as manager who transformed the team. We stormed into the Premiership by going up as champions.

We are now a firmly established Premiership club with an excellent manager in Martin O'Neill and are no longer the yo-yo club we once were.

Who can forget Niall Quinn the player along with striking partner Kevin Phillips? The selfless act of donating the money from his benefit matches to build hospitals in Dublin and Sunderland, together with the donation to the Goal street charity in Calcutta, was typical of the man. As was the magnificent act of kindness to pay for taxis for Sunderland supporters who had been left stranded once at Bristol Airport.

There has been speculation about whether he should have some kind of tribute to him such as a statue or having a stand named after him. Indeed a petition organised by SAFC fanzine Seventy3 is gathering pace to get the South Stand named after Quinn. I think there needs to be a lasting acknowledgment of gratitude. Maybe SAFC and the city council could get together on this.

As manager Martin O'Neill referred to Quinn as Mr Sunderland, it won't be quite the same without him and he will be sadly missed, but I am sure he will still come back to the club that got under his skin to cheer the team.

Tony Ratton

Kilkenny show real character

In response to Jerry Daly's hilarious jibe at Kilkenny football [Feb 12], I feel the lads who form the Kilkenny panel deserve nothing but praise for their commitment and dedication, in the knowledge that they are up against it in every match they play. That's real character, not that Mr Daly would know anything about that.

Noel Shortall

Most counties win suite nothing

It was a funny remark that man made about Kilkenny footballers winning a three-piece suite and making an all-seater stadium out of it. Not mentioning any names, but there are some counties, if they won a three-piece suite, it would be like an All-Ireland to them.

John White

Club semi-finals deserved better

What a feast of hurling the gallant men from Offaly, Galway, Limerick and Antrim gave us in the club championship semi-finals. This was hurling at its very best. What a truly beautiful game hurling (our national game) can be. Many, many thanks to you all. One crib is the meagre reports the press gave those two games.

T MacFhionn

Inept French to blame for fiasco

The way the Ireland v France match was called off was disgraceful and farcical and the French Rugby Association are to blame. The fans and the team were treated with contempt.

It was clear to all to see from early on Saturday that it was going to be well below freezing in Paris, so the match should have been called off much sooner. Imagine a top rugby pitch not having undersoil heating in the 21st century?

Pól Ó Cionsaligh

Bonus gesture would be nice

GIVEN the economic climate we find ourselves in, I feel it would be a nice gesture if the FAI and the 'boys in green' pooled their bonuses for qualifying for the European Championships to the official Irish Supporters' Club.

Firstly, it would end the dispute between the association and players.

Secondly, it would reward loyal supporters who have followed the team through thick and thin.

Thirdly, it would send out a positive message to supporters and media throughout Europe.

Derek O'Connor

Sunday Indo Sport

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