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Niall Quinn Discusses His GAA Youth, Italia 90' And Jack Charlton In New Doc

Niall Quinn Discusses His GAA Youth, Italia 90' And Jack Charlton In New Doc
By Jonathan Byrne
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"You only go around this world once. Being a footballers is as good as the trip gets."

A brand new documentary on the life and career of Niall Quinn will air on tonight on Virgin Media 2, at 10:15pm.

The former Ireland international, turned football executive, tells all in 'Niall Quinn - Bootroom to Boardroom'.

The first of a two-part series hones in on Quinn's upbringing, his rise in football, including Italia 90' and his spells with Manchester City and Sunderland.

Quinn discussed his early up-bringing, which seen him grow up with a hurl in his hand rather than kicking a ball about.

"Hurling was my first sport. I was from a strong GAA family. We carried a hurley around. Where as other kids were carrying a football around. Eventually, when I was 6 years of age, the ban of soccer and GAA, being able to play the same sport, was ended by the GAA. I ended up doing the street leagues."


Quinn discussed his first foray into the sport, starting as a goalkeeper and having to 'squeeze in the soccer' while playing GAA for Robert Emmets in Perrystown, Dublin.


Niall's father Billy was an All-Ireland minor hurling medal winner with Tipperary.

"He made his Tipperary senior debut and scored 3 goals in the league final in 1954. Within a year he was on the docks in East London, decided to try and make a living in England in the 50s and he turned his back on it."

It's to no surprise Quinn was sporting mad growing up. He captained the Dublin Kennedy Cup team at under-14 level, but it wasn't all plain sailing from then on.


"I didn't get picked for the under-15 schoolboy team. I did get a trial for Fulham. Malcolm MacDonald was the manager. Very quickly after a week, he told me to stick to college. He said as long as I have a hole in my backside I'll never make it as a footballer."

Quinn later went on to break into the Arsenal first-team, and subsequently wore MacDonald's old Arsenal jersey in doing so.

"When Arsenal signed me a couple of years later, and I started playing in the first team wearing his old jersey, I wanted to maybe send a letter to him and say my arse had healed over, I'm fine now."

The former Irish international goes on to talk about his playing days, including his time with Jack Charlton in the national team. When he was first picked for the senior squad, Quinn had an interesting run-in with Charlton in the team hotel.

"Jack was in reception in a queue to be seen, I was in the other queue. There was no press backboards with sponsored names on. The press just went up with old fashioned dictaphones... out of nowhere in front of everybody, he just went, "Maurice, we haven't picked him have we. Have we? Oh right, we better put up with him then."

You can catch part one of the documentary tonight on Virgin Media Two after the Champions League coverage at 10:15pm.


See Also: Damien Duff Breaks Silence on Leaving Ireland Management Team

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