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14th Jun 2023

“Have that, you skinny rat” – Stephen Hunt recalls feud with Eamon Dunphy

Robert Redmond

Brought to you by William Hill.

“But, you know what, I think he’s been one of Ireland’s best-ever presenters and pundits.”

On the latest episode of House of Football, former Republic of Ireland winger Stephen Hunt recalled his dispute with legendary football pundit Eamon Dunphy.

Back in 2009, following Ireland’s 2-2 draw with world champions Italy at Croke Park, Dunphy labelled the performance of the Boys in Green as ‘shameful.’

Hunt, who played in the game, responded by calling the former RTÉ football analyst a ‘skinny rat.’

Stephen Hunt on his dispute with Eamon Dunphy.

On punditry duty immediately following the final whistle, Dunphy called Ireland’s display a ‘travesty’ and lamented the absence of skilful midfielder Andy Reid, who was overlooked by then-manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

“A terrible performance, shameful,” said the former Ireland and Millwall midfielder.

“We never passed the ball. It’s clear Andy Reid needs to be in the team. This is a great injustice and it is compounded by it happening to the one player we need to solve our problems on the field.”

Dunphy later said he regretted using the term ‘shameful’, but his comments sparked a strong response from Hunt, who was a regular in the side under Trapattoni.

“We’re not so much annoyed but they know what goes on. They have families, families watch games and stuff like that. Where do they get their kicks from? Do you know what I mean? Especially Dunphy, he should know better by now. He’s a skinny rat, a skinny, little rat,” Hunt said.

“Listen, the world champions came to town and, despite what people say, we did OK. There are a certain two or three people who say stuff and they just say it for the sake of saying it – to be the bad cop. What’s the point in that? To get a higher salary in the RTÉ or wherever they come from? It’s stupid.

“I’m talking about certain people who say it for the sake of it and it just doesn’t make sense. Why say it? To earn bigger money or to be the man? Silly rat.

“I just hear things, what goes on. You are paid to give a personal opinion on the game but at least give an honest one.”

Stephen Hunt on his dispute with Eamon Dunphy.

Speaking on House of Football, Hunt explained why he reacted to Dunphy’s remarks.

“He sucked me in, didn’t he?” the former Wolves winger said.

“I called him a ‘Skinny rat.’ He was just firing abuse at the boys for weeks and weeks, not even at me! I just went, ‘Right, have that, you skinny rat.’

“I don’t even regret it to this day, because he was just hammering us for weeks and weeks.”

Hunt, however, still respects Dunphy and praised the Dubliner’s broadcasting skills. He also respected that the pundit could take criticism as well as dish it out.

“Eamon was just a big, high-profile pundit,” Hunt said.

“He just had so many fans based on how he presented himself. He was obviously a very intelligent broadcaster.

“‘He’s only a skinny rat,’ I remember saying it, and the next day one of the papers had a rat with his head on it.

“I thought, ‘Maybe that was a bit too much’, but I still think he probably deserved it at the time.

“But, you know what, I think he’s been one of Ireland’s best-ever presenters and pundits.”

“I’m sure he did (respond). He takes it, doesn’t he? He gives it out so he’s got to be able to take it, and he does, to be fair to him.”

You can watch the full episode below.

18+ |

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