In the Blood – Pat Spillane


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Pat Spillane is one of the best-known sportspeople in Ireland. Selected for the GAA’s Team of the Millennium and winner of eight All-Ireland senior football medals, he is one of the greatest Gaelic footballers ever. Yet that isn’t half of the Spillane story.

He has also been one of the most controversial GAA pundits of all time, driving the agenda on The Sunday Game and in The Sunday World for thirty years. His analysis and criticism have been headline news everywhere Gaelic football is discussed, and the terms he coined, such as ‘puke football’, have entered the Irish lexicon.

Here, Pat reveals the sadness of his childhood when his father died; his dazzling football career and encounters with other immortals, from Mick O’Dwyer onwards; the reality of life as pundit under pressure from managers; and the huge stress of dealing with the machinery of government in the aftermath of his spell with CEDRA, the state advisory group on rural affairs.

Like the man himself, In the Blood is uniquely frank, witty, honest and revealing – and a must-read for GAA fans everywhere.

Patrick Spillane is an Irish former Gaelic football pundit and player. His league and championship career at senior level with the Kerry county team spanned seventeen years.

Michael Moynihan is an editor with the Irish Examiner, an author and documentary-maker. He lives in Cork with his wife and children.