Tuesday 20 March 2018

'If ever a man deserved to be honoured' - Brian O'Driscoll sticks up for Colm Cooper's testimonial decision

Colm Coope (right) and Brian O'Driscoll (left
Colm Coope (right) and Brian O'Driscoll (left
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Brian O'Driscoll has defended Kerry legend Colm Cooper over his decision to hold a testimonial dinner after a backlash from various GAA pundits.

Joe Brolly, Pat Spillane and Colm O'Rourke are just some of the big names who have expressed their misgivings about Cooper profiting from the dinner, although a portion of the money made on the night will go to charity.

Writing in last weekend's Sunday World, Spillane explained why he feels the testimonial is another step towards elitism in the GAA.

"Hats off to the Gooch for coming up with this gig before anyone else," Spillane said.

"But here's one who doesn't think it is a good idea. It sets a dangerous precedent and at a time when clubs and county boards are struggling to raise money, from any source they can, the idea that a player should benefit like this is nuts.

"It is another step away from the roots of the GAA, and yes, this path takes us towards elitism.

"Unless all the proceeds are given to charity or GAA units, the Gooch's testimonial should be two in one: the first of them and the last of them."

However, one high profile sportsman has stood up for Cooper, with Irish rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll posting a defence of the Gooch on Instagram.

"No idea what all the hoo haa about this legend having a Testimonial is," O'Driscoll said.

"If ever a man deserved to be honoured with one, this is the guy."

The dinner is set to take place at the Ballsbridge Hotel on October 27, with tables of 10 priced at €5000.

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