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George Hamilton Says Irish Women's Team Proved He Still Has Commentary Thrill

George Hamilton Says Irish Women's Team Proved He Still Has Commentary Thrill
By Jonathan Byrne Updated

George Hamilton. A synonymous voice in broadcasting that's been around the block, covering countless World Cups, Olympics and Republic of Ireland internationals.

He started on commentary duties with the BBC in the 1970s before pivoting to RTÉ to cover the 1978 World Cup. He's still going as strong as ever.

Qatar in 2022 will be his twelfth World Cup behind the microphone. He's had a remarkable broadcasting career to date.

Hamilton appeared on Marty in the Morning on RTÉ Lyric FM on Tuesday to talk about his autobiography 'The Nation Holds Its Breath.'

The Belfast born broadcaster delivered the famous line for the title of his book during the Republic of Ireland's venture in the 1990 World Cup.

Packie Bonner denied Daniel Timofte to set up a winning penalty for David O'Leary. He sent Ireland into the quarter-finals. One of the most memorable Irish sporting moments.

Speaking to Marty Whelan, Hamilton was asked the simple question. "Do you still love it?". Hamilton says he still has a passion for it.


"I still get an enormous buzz. I think the truth of it is, Marty, if I didn't get that buzz I wouldn't be doing it. I wouldn't be doing the event justice if I wasn't as involved in it now as I ever was," he said.

When speaking about his love for commentary that has never gone - Hamilton referenced his recent TV duties and in particular the Republic of Ireland women:

Take the example of a recent game, was the Irish women playing Georgia and that record-breaking 11-0 win. They are now becoming story. It was just great to be in Tallaght and you talk about, 'do you still get excited when the kickoff comes?'. I couldn't wait for that match to start because there was such expectation in the air. They done well, then they stuttered a bit but now there was opposition that they surely had to beat because they weren't as good as the other teams in the group. And there was the expectation that this might be the night that it would all catch fire. And it did. It did. But just those moments, before the kick-off, when they're all lined up there and they're ready to go. And you're thinking is this going to be it? Is this going to be it? And then it starts and you're in it. It's an experience, it's my place, it's where I want to be. I just get such a thrill out of doing it.

The famous night in Tallaght was made extra special having Hamilton deliver the broadcast and he hopes to continue to be the familiar voice on special nights.

When will he call it a day? Hamilton knows he won't go on forever but the end isn't in sight just yet. When the time comes, he'll be the first to know:

Well, to tell you the truth Marty, I think there will come a time. I don't know when that time is. Lots of commentators go on into their seventies. Thinking Bill (McClaren) himself, Murray Walker, and Peter O'Sullivan the racing commentator. And Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh if he came back to RTÉ. The thing is - you'll know yourself when the time is coming. Let's not beat about the bush here. As you get older, you don't run as fast as you used to and things start to creak. At some point I'm going to be saying to myself, 'Look I can't really be, I'm not doing this as well as I should be doing this. I think this is not going the way it should.' It's something that you know yourself. That's my view anyway.

See Also: How Leeds United Became Barcelona's Champions League Nightmare 

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