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Giles: Bill will be hugely missed but I'm not thinking about retirement

RTÉ’s resident football anchor will call it a day after this summer’s World Cup finals.

Gilesy Stella Giles (right) with FAI chief executive John Delaney and members of Stella Maris FC. Source: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

NEXT MONTH’S WORLD Cup may be Bill O’Herlihy’s last hurrah on the RTÉ panel, but elder statesman John Giles says he has no plans to hang up the boots just yet.

75-year-old anchor O’Herlihy announced last year that he is calling time on his 50-year broadcasting career by departing the immensely-experienced group made up of Messrs Giles, Dunphy and Brady.

However, speaking at opening of the Stella Maris FC’s new 3G pitch, former Ireland midfielder and international manager Giles revealed he is happy to soldier on as a football pundit for the foreseeable future.

“Bill has been great,” said Giles. “He has done the job brilliantly so he’ll be hard to replace but we’ve got Darragh Maloney coming along. He’s a young lad and I’ll think he will do well.

“We’ve been together a long time. Eamon has been on the panel longer than I have. I joined with the lads in ‘86, which is a long time in this particular business.

“It’s no hassle to do it. I enjoy doing it and I don’t feel under any pressure. If I was doing matches on rugby or tennis or golf, I’d be like that (shaking) before I went on, but with football you’re just reacting to what is happening and giving your opinions.

I don’t think about it (retirement) to be honest. I feel okay and as long as I can do the job and enjoy it then I’ll continue to do it. I don’t think about the age business.”

Dunphy also sang the praises of O’Herlihy, adding: “Bill has been part of the team since I started, which is 36 years ago. He’s a great sports anchor and he will be hugely missed.

“Darragh Maloney is very, very good but definitely World Cup final night will be heavy with the sense that something that has meant a lot to all of us is ending.”

Gilesy Giles unveiling a plaque with Delaney at the clubhouse today. Source: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

The pair, both former schoolboy players with Stella Maris, were present at their Waterfall Avenue ground in Fairview to officially unveil the full size surface, which was installed by PST Sport and is the first of its kind in Ireland.

“When you’ve seen the job they have done, it’s absolutely brilliant,” said Giles. Clubs need these facilities now more than ever. When I was a kid, we played on the street and it was safe to play there.

“You can’t play on the street anymore though because it’s not safe so the kids needs pitches like these.

“It is great to come back to the club and see the job that has been done here through a lot of hard work through Derek Moore and the rest. I’m delighted to see it.”

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Ben Blake

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