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I WAS very sad to see Niall Quinn calling it quits at half-time in Sunderland's game against Spurs on Sunday.

Quinny has been a terrific servant - not just to all of his clubs, but to his country as well.

He had a top career and his 91 Irish caps bear testimony to his quality.

I suppose his retirement had been coming over the past couple of years because of injury problems.

Niall had been struggling with his back problems and other knocks played a major part in his career.

But despite that he had a super time as a player. People kept asking if he would hang up his boots - but instead he rolled up his sleeves and carried on.

Niall had a good touch for such a big fella and was a big handful for defenders. He was good for me too.

I always preferred playing beside a striker I could feed off - a player in the mould of Billy Hamilton who I played alongside in my Oxford days.

Quinny was similar to Billy in a lot of ways and I fed off his service.

We formed a good relationship for Ireland. I was fortunate enough to be Jack Charlton's first choice, and then Niall battled it out with Frank Stapleton and Tony Cascarino for the other spot.

But Jack stuck with me and Niall for a lot of the time he was in charge, certainly after the 1990 World Cup.

I wish him well, but knowing big Quinny he will probably go on to even bigger and better things.


QUINN: Has retired from game; GENEROUS: Quinn raised pounds 1million at his testimonial
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 12, 2002
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