Stars grace green carpet for Brian O'Driscoll's testimonial dinner
IT was a star studded affair tonight as sports stars and celebrities turned out to honor Ireland's greatest sporting hero.
Glitz and glamour was abound as a host of Irish stars turned out to celebrate rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll at his Testimonial Event, supported by Newstalk which took place at The Convention Centre in Dublin last evening.
The rugby star attended the event with his adoring wife, pint-sized actress Amy Huberman who looked stunning in a black dress with gold belt clinching her waist.
She said it was "surreal" coming over the bridge seeing her husband projected onto the convention centre.
"It was quite surreal coming over the bridge and seeing the projection on the building, it's brilliant, it's really really exciting. I hope I don't get over emotional tonight" she said.
"I think everyone just wants to celebrate the career he's had so its really special. I'm more nervous tonight because it is home ground. Maybe it means a little bit at more at home here, because this is where he's had his career provincially and nationally."
She said baby Sadie didn't come last night. "She can't do late nights," she joked.
The man of the hour said he was "unbelievable excited."
"It's strange seeing projections of yourself up on the convention centre, but it's fantastic as well. I feel really honoured to be able to have a testimonial dinner and hopefully help out two great charities in the process. Hopefully we will make a considerable amount of money," he said.
Ireland's record tryscorer said he is looking forward to near future rather than dwelling on his impending retirement.
"I'm not finished," he said. "I wanna be able to enjoy those seven months before it finally does come."
He said he still might get a little choked up at the event.
"I'm sure it'll still be an emotional time because you'll see all the great times you've had on screen and hopefully I'll hear one or two nice things by one or two people so it'll be a great experience," he added.
The three-time Heineken Cup winner said he is looking forward to having more family time once he retires and is happy to step back and let Amy shine.
"I'm excited about our next phase of life wherever that'll bring us so if it brought us further afield, Dublin or Ireland, I'm only too happy to slip in to her slipstream and go with the flow."
Footballer Niall Quinn paid tribute to BOD: "Everyone knows how big a role he's played," he said. " I love the way all his team mates love him, that's a huge sign for me that he must be something very special."
Businesswoman Caroline Downey was very excited to be at the event: "I've known Brian for ten years, he's been the ambassador for the ISPCC for ten years, so we have a strong alignment with him,"she said.
She said she hoped the event would raise €600,000 for the chosen charities.
Also at the Brian-themed bash was rugby pal Rob Kearney: "Brian been a fantastic ambassador for the country, on and off the field so delighted to be here to celebrate with him.
He said when Brian retires, it will be a blow to the sport.
"It's going to be a massive loss, everyone knows that, so I suppose it is just nice that we have him for one more year. We still have him for one more year so we'll leave the tears for another year.
"We spend more time as teammates playing together and training together more than we do with our friends and families sometimes. Yeah, we're all very close, we've got some real strong relationships and bonds and we'll be very sorry to see him go."
Also at the event was the latest addition to Newstalk Pat Kenny, a self-confessed armchair rugby fan.
"Brian is the perfect representative for all of us," he said. "He carries himself with great dignity, he never puts a foot wrong. Brian is one of the good guys."
He also revealed that on Thursday he got figures that showed his new radio show is being well received.
"We got some numbers yesterday, but they were only a straw in the wind," he said. "Those numbers only refer to four weeks of my tenure so it'll be this time next year before we know exactly what's happening." However, he said: "The numbers suggested were on the up and up and up and up."
Also at the event was Keith Duffy who praised the rugby star for boosting the nations spirits.
"In a country like Ireland we need our spirits raised from time to time, and it's been proven in the past that sport is a great way of lifting the nation, especially in times like this. It is great to seeing sporting people making a difference, especially Irish sporting people."
Entertainer for the night Imelda May said she was looking forward to performing and delighted to be invited. She was stunning in a black sequin dress which showed off her curves. She attended the bash with her parents.
"My dad says he loves being a celebrity, he loves it all, all the glamour,"she said.
"I love rugby,especially when Ireland win," she joked.