Eamon Dunphy in 2013
|Full name||Eamon Martin Dunphy|
|Date of birth||3 August 1945|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Ireland|
|1965-1971||Republic of Ireland||23||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Eamon Martin Dunphy (born 3 August 1945) is an Irish media personality, journalist, broadcaster, author, sports pundit and former professional footballer. He grew up playing football for several youth teams including Stella Maris. Since retiring from the sport, he has become recognisable to Irish television audiences as a football analyst during coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and international football on RTÉ.
As well as his slot with RTÉ, Dunphy has worked for its rival television station, TV3 (for which he has presented a chat show and a game show), and rival radio stations Today FM and Newstalk. He was the original presenter of The Last Word on Today FM. Between 2004 and 2006, Dunphy presented the breakfast programme on Dublin's local Newstalk 106 radio station before it became a national broadcaster. Later he moved to RTÉ Radio 1, where he presented a weekly programme, Conversations with Eamon Dunphy until 2009. He then returned to Newstalk, now broadcasting nationwide, only to leave again in 2011. Dunphy continues to write a column on football for the Irish Daily Star newspaper.
A promising footballer, he left Dublin while still a teenager to join Manchester United as an apprentice. Dunphy did not break into the first team at United, and subsequently left to play for York City, Millwall, Charlton Athletic, Reading and Shamrock Rovers. It was at Millwall that Dunphy made the most impact; he was considered an intelligent and skilful player in the side's midfield.
Dunphy was a member of "The Class of '71", the Millwall side that failed by just one point to gain promotion to the old Football League Division One.
He accompanied Johnny Giles back to Ireland to join Shamrock Rovers F.C. in 1977. Giles wanted to make the club Ireland's first full-time professional club, and hoped to make Rovers into a force in European football by developing talented young players at home who would otherwise go to clubs in England. Dunphy was originally intended to be in charge of youth development. However, despite an FAI Cup winners medal in 1978 (his only medal in senior football) and two appearances in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Dunphy became disillusioned with the Irish game and dropped out of football altogether to concentrate on a career in journalism.
He made his Ireland début in the play-off at the Parc des Princes in Paris for the 1966 FIFA World Cup which Spain won 1-0, thanks to a José Ufarte goal. He went on to become, in his own words, "a good player, not a great player".
After retiring from the game, Dunphy first began writing on football for the Sunday Tribune and then contributing regular columns on both football and current events for the Sunday Independent. He currently writes a column on football for the Irish Daily Star. He coined the term "Official Ireland" to refer to the establishment.
Since the 1980s, Dunphy has written a number of books. His first and most widely praised book is Only a Game?: Diary of a Professional Footballer, which is an autobiographical account of his days playing for Millwall. Dunphy wrote a diary of his 1973-4 season, which began well for him at Millwall but subsequently ended in disillusionment. Written during the season, it recorded events from the dressing room.
In 1985, rock band U2 and manager Paul McGuinness commissioned him to write the story of their origins, formation, early years and the time leading up to their highly successful album The Joshua Tree. His book Unforgettable Fire - Past, Present, and Future - The Definitive Biography of U2 was published in 1988. It received some favourable reviews, but critics close to the band spoke of many inaccuracies. A verbal war erupted in the press during which Dunphy called lead singer Bono a "pompous git".
Since the mid-1980s, Dunphy has regularly appeared as an analyst during football coverage on Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Since RTÉ acquired the rights to show English football, Dunphy has been a regular contributor to Premier Soccer Saturday. He also contributes to analysis of UEFA Champions League games and, in international football, RTÉ's coverage of FIFA World Cups, UEFA European Football Championships and qualifying matches involving the Republic of Ireland national football team. He contributed to RTÉ Sport's coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Dunphy's earnings from RTÉ for his football analysis (plus a radio show) include EUR328,051 in 2008 and EUR285,915 in 2007.
In 2001, Dunphy became the first male host of the quiz show The Weakest Link, which aired on TV3, for just one series. In 2003, Dunphy was hired again by TV3 to host their new Friday night chat show, entitled The Dunphy Show. Pitted head-to-head with RTÉ's long-running flagship programme, The Late Late Show, Dunphy's show lost what was a highly publicised "ratings war", and was cancelled before its original run was to conclude.
Dunphy is the first presenter of a made-for-mobile TV show on the 3 mobile network in Ireland. Dunphy's rants and "Spoofer of the Week" are watched by thousands of 3 customers. The shows were awarded "Best Entertainment Show" at Ireland's Digital Media Awards. Dunphy readily admits he never uses a mobile himself, but enjoys filming for a mobile audience from the comfort of his own living room in Ranelagh.
In July 2018, Dunphy announced that he was leaving RTE after 40 years with the broadcaster. He intends to focus on his podcast The Stand.
He was the original host in 1997 of the popular current affairs show The Last Word on Today FM. In September 2004, Dunphy took over The Breakfast Show slot on the Dublin radio station Newstalk 106 from David McWilliams. The show tried to court controversy and listeners in equal measure. He failed to attract the large listenership predicted, with only a few additional thousand tuning in. Dunphy announced in June 2006 his intention to leave Newstalk 106, citing an inability to sustain the demands of an early morning schedule. After his departure from Newstalk 106, Dunphy confirmed he was suffering from a viral illness. He later recovered.
In July 2006, RTÉ announced that Dunphy would present a new weekly programme as part of the new RTÉ Radio 1 autumn schedule.
Dunphy rejoined Newstalk, but left again in 2011 "due to interference from management and a push to put a more positive spin on the news". On his last show he accused his boss Denis O'Brien of "hating journalism". He quit after Sam Smyth was sacked from Today FM (also owned by O'Brien), and said management at Newstalk were trying to remove "dissenting voices" like Constantin Gurdgiev from the airwaves.
Dunphy was a daily Mass-goer until he was preparing for marriage to his first wife, Sandra from Salford, when he was 21. He was Catholic and she was Protestant. The priest instructing them for marriage disapproved strongly of the mixed couple, saying that he should not marry her because she was not a proper person. Dunphy's observance was already weakening but he quit his daily Mass-going at this point. He and Sandra had two children, a boy and a girl, and Dunphy is now a grandfather. His first marriage ended and he moved to Castletownshend in Cork for two years in the early 1990s. He lived with another partner, Inge, before meeting his second wife, RTÉ commissioning editor Jane Gogan, in the Horseshoe Bar in Dublin in 1992. They married at the Unitarian Church on St Stephen's Green on 24 September 2009.
In an interview with An Phoblacht, Dunphy, who had previously written highly critical articles on the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin, stated that he is now a Sinn Féin supporter and declared he had voted for them in the 2011 general election. He described their representatives as "incredibly hard-working and incredibly intelligent".
He published his autobiography entitled The Rocky Road in October 2013.
The deceased satirist Dermot Morgan, known to international audiences as Father Ted, did a much admired Eamon Dunphy impression on the satirical radio show Scrap Saturday. Different sketches had him engaged in apparent inane and ridiculous arguments. They ranged from his criticism of Mother Teresa for not being a real nun to his attack on the week's weather. Dunphy left RTÉ's analysis team the day before the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final, when he objected to Morgan's portrayal of him and Giles as monosyllabic.
Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy and Senator David Norris had given permission to the charity to have their voices mimicked by Callan for the adverts.