Team 33 | "Colm Toibin had...

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Team 33 | "Colm Toibin had a call from his editor saying, 'Dunphy's coming over, will you keep an eye on him'"


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While Euro 88 was the first major tournament for Ireland, it was Italia 90 that really rubber-stamped itself into our collective consciousness as a soccer nation. 

Without winning a game in normal time, the Boys in Green got to a quarter final via Kevin Sheedy's goal against England, Packie Bonner putting air back into our lungs after the nation held its breathe and David O'Leary going from an uncertain fit under the Jack Charlton regime turning hero.

It wasn't just Ireland that can look back at Italia 90 with fondness. England had their best World Cup since 1966, Cameroon stunned Argentina and then the world and it was the tournament after which football would undergo major change.

Almost 30 years on from the tournament, Merseyside journalist Simon Hart has traveled the globe including here in Ireland to speak to many of the key figures from the the 1990 World Cup and it's all detailed in his book World In Motion: The Inside Story of Italia 90.

Raf Diallo and Simon Hart

Ahead of the 2018 World Cup, he popped over to Dublin for a chat with me on Team 33 to take us back on a nostalgia trip to how Italia 90 affected every team.  

From the Irish perspective, he was an interested observer of the reaction to Ireland's performances in Italy, namely from RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy who was very critical of the way Charlton's side were playing.

"I spoke to Colm Toibin last summer and he was very interesting and explained to me just the extent of the anti-Dunphy sentiment that was raging around Ireland," said Simon.

"He had a call from his newspaper editor saying, 'Eamon's coming over, will you keep an eye on him and keep him out of trouble'.

"Dunphy went along to one of the press conferences and I think at that point, Jack Charlton got up and walked out when Dunphy wanted to ask a question.

"For me, watching that World Cup on the other side of the water, it was new for me to discover the extent of the debate that was going on." 

You can listen back to Part 1 of our interview with Simon Hart below or on iTunes and there is a shorter video version above:

Team 33 | "Colm Toibin had a call from his editor saying, 'Dunphy's coming over, will you keep an eye on him'"

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Also on this week's show, Joe, Derek and Killian dropped in to talk England, VAR and more:

Recent interviews on Team 33 include former Man United cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis, ex-England international Carlton Palmer, former Newcastle and Everton left back Alessandro Pistone, Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, Liverpool legend David Fairclough, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella, USA captain Eric Lichaj and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Tony CotonPackie BonnerNobby SolanoRon Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.


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