After all these years, no doubt in Pat Spillane's mind about his favourite player 1 year ago

After all these years, no doubt in Pat Spillane's mind about his favourite player

No, it's not a Kerry player.

Pat Spillane is retiring from The Sunday Game after today's All-Ireland final between Galway and Kerry, and after decades of covering Gaelic football, the Kerryman has seen some of the best players in history.


As expected, the veteran pundit had to endure a bit of ribbing as his colleague and former Dublin star Ciarán Whelan presented him with a 'Dublin Five-in-a-row' framed jersey, and Sean Cavanagh thanked him for giving Ulster sides so much motivation over the years.

This is of course in reference to the fact that Spillane had famously been very critical of teams in the north, and the more defensively viewed style of football played there.


One moment in particular came in 2003 when he infamously described Tyrone's style as "puke football", a term that has now joined the vocabulary of GAA folk used on sidelines all over the country.

So, it may surprise some that when he was asked to pick the best player he has ever watched during his time in punditry, he actually picked someone from that very county.

No, it definitely wasn't Sean Cavanagh, who was in giddy form, relishing the retirement of his verbal sparring partner, but a member of the famous Mickey Harte team who played this 'puke' brand of football.


"I've been privileged for the last 30 years to write about GAA, and talk about it on RTÉ... they said don't select a Kerry player. So, I think Peter Canavan would be the man I'd pick, over the last 30 years. He was a superstar."

"There was a load of Kerry fellows but it would take up too much time, but thanks very much, that was lovely, can we get on with analysing now?"

Now a pundit on Sky Sports, Canavan has won two All-Ireland titles in his playing days, but his individual brilliance during the barren years, before Tyrone ever even lifted the Sam Maguire, was stuff of sheer brilliance.

Anti-puke football if you will.