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Pat Spillane Was Given An Incredible Farewell During Opening Of The Sunday Game

Pat Spillane Was Given An Incredible Farewell During Opening Of The Sunday Game
By Gary Connaughton
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After Brian Cody's departure from Kilkenny yesterday, another great GAA institution will be brought to an end this afternoon. Pat Spillane has been synonymous with the coverage of the sport in this country for three decades, immediately transforming from one of the game's greatest ever players to its most prominent voice in the media. He has been a fixture on our television screens since then, where he will appear on The Sunday Game for the final time this afternoon.

There have been some hugely memorable moments down through the years, with RTÉ providing us with a reminder of them ahead of the All-Ireland final between Kerry and Galway.

The Sunday Game pay tribute to Pat Spillane

Appearing alongside Joanne Cantwell, Sean Cavanagh, and Ciaran Whelan in The Sunday Game studio, Pat Spillane was provided with a brilliant package of all his best moments as a player and pundit down through the years.

It was a fantastic compilation, with the 66-year old even getting a bit emotional as it played.

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That wasn't the only gift he received this afternoon. Ciaran Whelan would provide Spillane with a signed Dublin jersey from the five in-a-row team, something we're sure he was delighted to receive as a proud Kerry man.

Sean Cavanagh also gave a parting message from the people of Ulster, with his colleague often a big critic of football in the province down through the years.

I kind of forgot you played football Pat, never mind how good you were!

From the people in the North of the country, I have to say thanks for all the motivation you gave us over the years. We loved to hate you, but I think we're going to miss you at the same time.

I think there's a compliment in there somewhere.

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As for Spillane himself, he was quick to say just how much he has enjoyed his time as a pundit down through the years.

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When asked to pick his favourite moment from his three decade stint on our screens, he struggled to narrow it down. However, he would tell us who his favourite player (outside of Kerry) had been to watch during this period.

They said 'don't select a Kerry player'.

I think Peter Canavan, of the 30 years I was a pundit, was the real superstar. He had real class.

There were a load of Kerry players, but that would take up too much time.

A typical Pat Spillane comment to kick off his final stint on The Sunday Game.

Spillane would go on to give an emotional speech after the final whistle of Sunday's game. His nephews Killian and Adrian played a pivotal role in the second half of Kerry's ultimate triumph, and Pat remembered his late father in the aftermath of the final whistle.

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Spillane said:

It's a lovely way to finish my time here.

I'm a passionate Kerry man, I've been critical of them at times. We knew there was a very talented bunch coming through, but talent doesn't necessarily win you All-Irelands.

We were getting impatient, but I saw a different bunch this year. I saw a resilient bunch. It's brilliant to see David Clifford delivering and getting an All-Ireland medal.

From a personal point of view, in 1964 my father was a selector for Kerry against Galway. The night before the game, he had a pain in his chest but wouldn't go to the doctor.

He went to the game the following day as a selector and was dead by Tuesday. Kerry-Galway matches to me always brings back this memory.

My father never saw us play, the three sons. Today, the three sons have 19 All-Ireland medals and his two grandsons, Killian and Adrian, have two more. He would have been a proud man to see 21 All-Ireland medals brought into his house.

It's just a special day.

Pat Spillane will certainly be missed during RTÉ's coverage in 2023.

SEE ALSO: 40-Year Old Eoin Kelly Leads Club To Dramatic Comeback In Tipp Championship

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