There have been any number of glowing tributes to Bill O'Herlihy over the past 24 hours or so and well there should be. However, perhaps the only words that could get across just what a gentleman he was are his own.
According to the Independent, Cliona Foley was writing a 'Sport on TV' column for the Evening Herald during Italia 90. As that was such an incredible moment in Irish history, Foley was obviously quite complimentary about the RTÉ panel and the job they were doing.
At the end of the tournament, despite never having met him, Bill took the time to write to Foley and thank her for the coverage she had given the team.
Foley was good enough to share that letter with the rest of us.
— cliona foley (@ponyyelof) May 25, 2015
Now that I have returned to the "real world" after a break following the World Cup, I write to say how much I appreciated the kind words you wrote during my four weeks on air.
It was a privilege to be involved in a broadcast which encompassed a bit of Irish Sports history and even if the hours were long, I had a great time. I know you won't feel I am trespassing on your objectivity when I say how much we valued the support you gave us on the RTE Sport team during the World Cup coverage. I am extremely grateful to you.
Yours sincerely, Bill O'Herlihy
To say he was one in a million would be doing him a great disservice.