Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Team Pages: Rep of Ireland  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather


Click on a name for more detailed team information:

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Nigeria
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Rep of Ireland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Tunisia
Turkey
USA
Uruguay

Monday, 17 June, 2002, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Ireland walk tall in defeat
The Ireland side commiserate David Connolly after his penalty miss
Quinn was a big influence to the Irish side
BBC Sport Online's Lyle Jackson

separator
space

If one man epitomises his team at this World Cup, it is Niall Quinn.

Quinn has been much more than an effective substitute on the field for the Republic of Ireland in the finals.

Open Quote
The players have to look at what they've done and be proud
Close Quote
Niall Quinn

The country's top goalscorer of all-time has also been a supreme diplomat, peacemaker and senior counsel off the pitch as well.

The Sunderland striker has always been respected as a decent guy.

And when he handed over his testimonial riches to charity last month, his reputation reached new heights.

But Quinn still had more to unselfishly give to his country.

Having been talked out of international retirement by manager Mick McCarthy, the veteran striker proved an invaluable lieutenant to the manager.

Niall Quinn and Mick McCarthy come together in defeat
Quinn was always there for manager Mick McCarthy
The Irish campaign was a series of ups and downs, and Quinn was inevitably at the centre of events.

In the midst of the Roy Keane furore, Quinn attempted to broker a deal in an attempt to see the Manchester United midfielder return to the fold.

He came close, but the negotiations fell through.

And his behind-the-scenes diplomacy temporarily annoyed McCarthy.

But, on reflection, it appears the manager realised Quinn's intentions were good, were for the country's cause.

Open Quote
The days of Ireland being happy just qualifying for a competition are over - we will be a presence now
Close Quote
Niall Quinn

Ireland gave the World Cup some memorable moments on the pitch.

Like Robbie Keane's last-gasp equaliser against Germany, a goal which rescued Ireland from early oblivion.

Victory over Saudi Arabia was predicted but, even so, it meant Ireland finished the group with their best points tally in the finals.

Then came that exciting last 16 game against Spain in Suwon on Sunday. Pure edge-of-the-seat sporting drama.

McCarthy, although bitterly disappointed amidst all the might-have-beens, spoke well afterwards.

He praised his players and refusing to criticise those who had missed from the spot in a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out.

But the mighty Quinn, whose unsettling presence had once again thrown Ireland their life-belt, more than anyone put things in perspective.

Yes it was a desperate disappointment to have gone out on penalties.

But the bigger picture was in Quinn's focus, even in the instant aftermath as microphones were thrust in front of him.

Open Quote
I'm going to enjoy watching this team. They've got a great six to eight years ahead of them
Close Quote
Niall Quinn

Although taking his bow from the international arena - along with Steve Staunton - the magnanimous Quinn took time out to predict a bright future for forthcoming Ireland teams.

Damien Duff and Robbie Keane had already made their mark, but there were big things to come from the likes of Stephen Reid, Colin Healy, Clinton Morrison, et al.

So fair play to Quinny, a big man on the pitch and off it as well.

Memorable moments on the pitch, yes. But two off-the-field experiences will stick with me.

The street parties as millions of Koreans celebrated their team's qualification to the last 16 were truly memorable.

Niall Quinn gets up above the Spanish defence
Quinn caused the Spanish defence problems

But I will never forget Niall Quinn's news conference days before the tournament kicked-off.

As he told reporters about his round-the-clock attempts to find a way out of the Roy Keane impasse, there were tears in his eyes.

This was a guy who cared, really cared.

Subsequently, Niall Quinn got the chance to get on to the playing pitch, to replace his words with effective action.

He played a significant role in Ireland's latest World Cup exploits and no-one deserved it more.


E-mail this story to a friend
 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Andy Swiss
"McCarthy is not taking further success for granted"
INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
REP OF IRELAND
 TEAMS
 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have your say
 SQUAD PROFILES
 RESULTS/REPORTS

GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

 WATCH/LISTEN
 BBC SPORT BULLETINS
 OUR BEST VIDEO
More Audio/Video




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy