Monday 19 March 2018

'My old pal Duffer is one of the good guys'

I'm delighted that Damien Duff will win his 100th cap tonight. It's just a shame about the circumstances. He'll be hurting badly this week.

Duffer is a great bloke. I first met him when I was called into the U-21s. We always mixed with the seniors at the Holiday Inn, and played against them on the Monday or Tuesday before their international on a Wednesday. Damien was so good that he skipped straight into the first team, and he was obviously a terrific talent.

But he was also a really friendly lad who looked out for the newcomers, and became a good personal friend of mine.

I think Damien enjoys the image of shying away from the press and he certainly does like the quiet life, but he knows how to enjoy himself at the right time too.

Yet he's never been a big-time charlie. He's totally down to earth and, in the last few years, he's got married and had a little one, so he's in a good place right now.

The way he's looking after himself, I can see him continuing at Fulham for a couple more years. He'll just have to decide if he can also continue with his Ireland career but, whatever his choice, he will surely be remembered as one of the best to ever wear the green jersey.

Irish Independent

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