WHEN I first sat down with Bill O'Herlihy in 1986, I had no idea that it would be the start of a wonderful story which sadly, came to an end when he passed away yesterday.
It was a great shock to me and coming so soon after we said goodbye to Ray Treacy, doubly upsetting. We've lost another great.
All the tributes paid to Bill when he retired from his job as ring-master and chairman of our RTE panel can be dusted off again because without him, I don't think we could have done it.
He was a consummate professional and as a trained journalist, brought a sense of analysis to football which had never really been done before.
As a result, Irish football fans saw a different kind of debate about the game than anything else available at the time. It was breakthrough stuff and Bill was at the heart of it.
When you're working with someone for as long as we were, it is impossible not to grow close. We were a team and Bill was as big a part of it as any of us, if not the biggest.
He knew myself, Eamon and Liam so well and played us like a master musician would play an instrument.
I will miss him, as I miss Ray. Both of them knew how to laugh and how to make other people laugh and that's a great thing to be able to say.
My thoughts are with Bill's wife, Hillary, and his daughters, Jill and Sally.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.