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Oh captains, our captains: 22 reasons why we’ll miss the Off the Ball team

The five men who made Off The Ball famous resigned yesterday. Here are some of our favourite moments from the show.

The Off the Ball team: (Back, L-R) Ken Early, Mark Horgan, Ciaran Murphy; (Front, L-R) Simon Hick and Eoin McDevitt.

NEWSTALK STUNNED IRISH sports fans yesterday when they confirmed to TheScore.ie that the five-man team behind Off the Ball, the station’s award-winning sports programme, had resigned with immediate effect.

Anchored by one of its founding members, sports editor Ger Gilroy, Off The Ball continued last night — but without the familar voices of Eoin McDevitt, Ciaran Murphy, Ken Early, Simon Hick and Mark Horgan.

Here are some of the many, many reasons why we will miss the show’s famous five:

1. They got Steve Staunton to utter the immortal line “Second captain, first captain, whatever”

It became so famous that they used it as their Twitter handle: @secondcaptains


Click here to listen on Soundcloud >

2. They had the coolest broadcasting base ever for Euro 2012

(OTB Facebook)

3. And then invited Trap and Manuela for a chat in the kitchen

(OTB Facebook)

YouTube Credit: Newstalk106108fm

4.  Murph once ended an interview with Longford manager Glenn Ryan with the line “Thanks a million for coming”

It wasn’t on Off The Ball but who cares?


Click here to listen on Soundcloud >

(INPHO)

5. They introduced us to this song

It was the theme music for Ken's newsround.

YouTube Credit: Jazzman2696

6. And they made us associate this song with bad things

This has been used as the show's outro music for as long as we can remember. It makes us sad because it means no more Off the Ball for another 21 hours.

YouTube Credit: dicker0329

(OTB Facebook)

7. They created the brilliant "Ken Burley" alter-ego

And then used him to blatantly troll unsuspecting Welsh radio stations ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Some fine, fine radio.


Click here to listen on Soundcloud >

8. They got a shout-out from An Taoiseach once

"[It] has generated a cult following amongst sports fans due to the interaction and the dynamism of its presenters," Enda Kenny said.

YouTube Credit: Newstalk106108fm

9. They were the cover stars of Irish Country Living magazine

This has "collector's edition" written all over it now.

(OTB Facebook)

10. They dug out this great picture of Murph when he was on Blackboard Jungle as a kid

(OTB Facebook)

11. They immortalised legendary Irish basketball commentator Timmy McCarthy in this clip

YouTube Credit: markchorgan

12. They introduced us to this guy

That's US Murph. He taught us pretty much everything we know about American sports.

(Original here)

13. They created the brilliant Gazzetta Football Kentalia section when Ken was away with the Irish team in Italy


Click here to listen on Soundcloud >

14. They gave their listeners what they wanted, even if that meant pictures of a topless Murph standing in a cold Kerry field

(OTB Facebook)

15. Without them, the story of Old Frank Sadlier would never have been told

Richie Sadlier talking about his ageing epileptic Victorian bulldog's constipation was pure radio gold.


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Richie even brought the team a black forest gateaux with Frank's picture on it.

(OTB Facebook)

16. They made these great playing cards

(OTB Facebook)

17. And these keyrings

(OTB Facebook)

18. When Ken met Roy Keane, he asked him a load of awkward questions

And got some awkward answers.


Click here to listen on Soundcloud >

19. Who else would have the genius idea to set Vincent Browne audio to The Prodigy?

Nobody. That's who.


Click here to listen on Soundcloud >

20. They created the greatest quiz segment ever heard on radio -- Challenge Murph

Remember, the questions don't start until Lar Corbett's fourth "believe".


Click here to listen on Soundcloud >

21. Everybody loved them

Young, old, male, female, diehard sports fans and casuals alike... just look at the crowds.

(OTB Facebook)

22. And that's before we even get to...

John Giles saying Eoin's name at the start of every sentence; Murph's Country Pages; Partying like you're Rob Kearney; Administrator of the Week; Donn's tips; and the hundreds of other reasons to love the Off the Ball lads.

What are your favourite memories?

LISTEN: Ger Gilroy opens Newstalk’s Off The Ball following sports staff resignations

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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