Tuesday 14 August 2018

RTE to announce next Sunday Game host in a 'week or two' as Michael Lyster confirms he will retire after 2018 season

RTE's Michael Lyster. Photo: Gerry Mooney
RTE's Michael Lyster. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Michael Lyster's time as The Sunday Game anchor will come to an end this year.

The 64-year-old has been the face of the GAA's flagship programme for 34 years, and the national broadcaster today confirmed that he will leave RTE when he is 65 as he is an employee rather than a contractor.

"I'll be hanging up my hat at the end of 2018," Lyster said in a statement.

"I've a full season of top class GAA action to get through with the National Leagues and of course the Championships this summer and that's what I'm focused on. There's some really exciting changes to come in this year's Championship and I'm looking forward to seeing how they will impact the game.

"Following my health scare a few years ago, every day and every year was a bonus. That's the mindset I've continued to have and I feel incredibly lucky to have another season to look forward to at the helm".

The Sunday Game host was a guest on The Ray D'Arcy show this afternoon on RTE Radio 1 to discuss his retirement, as well as who will succeed him.

"I can tell you honestly that I don't know," Lyster answered when asked if he knew who was replacing him.

"I know who is on the shortlist. This will be revealed by RTE in the next week or two so we will wait and see how that one goes."

Lyster has suffered from health issues in the last few years and by his own admission "was lucky to be alive" following a heart attack in 2015.

The Sunday Game anchor had spent that day playing golf with friend, and Irish Independent writer, Vincent Hogan, who dropped him home.

He'd left his phone in the car and called Vincent, who arrived back at the house just a few minutes later to find Michael lying unconscious in the hallway.

"Everyone was in bed, so Vincent called up the stairs to my wife Anne, and she came down and started CPR, while he phoned for an ambulance," Michael said at the time.

"I don't know if I would have stayed as calm as Anne did, she's very good under pressure. The clock was ticking, I suppose, so she was told to keep the CPR going until the ambulance got there. It was a very bad situation and I was actually gone, so when the paramedics arrived, they had to keep me going until I got to the hospital."

The affable Lyster bounced back from that scare to consistently deliver epic commentary on all the big games ever since.

Should Lyster bow out, Des Cahill, Darragh Moloney and Joanne Cantwell would be the front runners for the role.

Online Editors

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