And he left it there so: Bill O’Herlihy retires from RTÉ

14 Jul 2014

While the rest of the world reacted to Germany winning this year’s World Cup, in Ireland things took on a more reflective note as legendary anchor of the RTÉ panel, Bill O’Herlihy, said “okey doke” for the last time.

Having started his broadcasting career all the way back in 1964, Bill O Herlihy took on the role which arguably cemented his place in Irish football folklore in 1978 when he became the face of RTÉ’s football programming and through the 80s and 90s ‘the panel’ was formed with Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles and Liam Brady who no-dobut created some entertaining television and insights that many of the other channels both in Ireland and the UK could simply not replicate.

As the minutes of the post-match analysis of Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina counted down to the end of the programme, people began to wonder how Bill was going to sign off 36 years-worth of presenting the panel.

After a touching montage was put together by RTÉ, it was obvious how he was going to end it; “We’ll leave it there so.”

Here’s how Ireland reacted last night to the ending to the man’s illustrious career with not one, but three trending hashtags.





Illustrator Niall O’Loughlin even got in on the act with his own caricature.


The man himself chimed in on the overwhelming praise from those who have grown up watching Bill on their TVs with a simple but touching tweet.

Bill Tweet

In a real then-and-now moment, Bill’s final words on-screen brought us back 24 years ago to 1990 when Bill excitedly shouted “Forza Genoa!” with the now infamous hat.


And here he is last night wearing that very same hat. Safe to say Alf and Home and Away are still being deferred…

Bill main

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic