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Andy Townsend Recalls How Niall Quinn Cleaned Up By Saving Penalties At Ireland Training

Andy Townsend Recalls How Niall Quinn Cleaned Up By Saving Penalties At Ireland Training
By Gary Connaughton

Niall Quinn was a man of many talents. Not only did he win 92 caps for his country and score plenty of goals in the English top flight, but was also quite the GAA player in his younger days.

Quinn played both hurling and Gaelic football for Dublin at underage level, including playing in an All-Ireland minor hurling final at 16-years old.

As it turns out, he could also step in between the sticks if required.

The story of his brief stint as a goalkeeper for Manchester City is well known, with Quinn putting on the gloves after Tony Coton was sent off against Coventry City and going on to save a penalty. In fact, you'd think he is one of very few players to both score and save a penalty in the same game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGPpZtpViRE

Those who knew Quinn well probably weren't all that shocked to see him save the penalty on that occasion. Apparently, he had quite the reputation for stopping spot kicks.

Andy Townsend recalls Niall Quinn's penalty saving ability

Speaking on talkSPORT, Andy Townsend recalled how Quinn used to don the gloves and put bets on with players after Ireland training. It used to go rather well for the big striker.

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In the Ireland World Cup squad we had Pat Bonner, Gerry Peyton, Alan Kelly. Do you know who the best penalty saver was in our squad? Niall Quinn.

After training, for £20 you used to have to take three penalties against Quinny. If he saves one of them he gets the £20, you had to score all three.

I'll tell you what, he used to clean up...

I'm being slightly mischievous there to suggest he was a penalty saver (than the goalkeepers), but he was good at saving them...

Quinny was terrific at it. After training, I swear to god, you'd get back to the hotel and there would be a queue of people handing him over money.

He was very good at saving them. He was so big, that he would dive to the right side and it would hit his left leg and go over the bar.

As good as he was as a striker, perhaps Niall Quinn picked the wrong position.

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