Today's Johnny Giles Talking Points
Michael John "Johnny" Giles (born 6 November 1940) is a former association footballer and manager best remembered for his time as a midfielder with Leeds United in the 1960s and 1970s. After retiring from management in 1985, Giles served as the senior analyst on RTÉ Sport's coverage of association football from 1986 until 2016.
The FAI voted Giles as the greatest Irish player of the last 50 years at the UEFA Jubilee Awards in 2004.
After winning an FA Cup winner's medal under Matt Busby at Manchester United, Giles moved to Leeds in 1963 where he played in midfield alongside captain Billy Bremner. The duo went on to form a central midfield partnership which was one of the best in English club football. Their pairing helped yield several major trophies in the most successful era in Leeds' history. By strange coincidence, Giles and Bremner would both score exactly 115 goals for the club, casting doubt on the modern penchant for "holding" midfield players.
In his later years in football, Giles pursued a managerial career which saw him installed as player-manager and manager of, among others, West Bromwich Albion, the Republic of Ireland, and Shamrock Rovers. Despite having an outstanding knowledge of the game, Giles personally never liked being a manager. He became disillusioned with aspects of the job, such as suffering at the hands of non-committal boardrooms, and left management permanently in 1985. He later declared that he had no regrets about quitting managerial life.
Subsequently, after repeated encouragement from childhood friend Eamon Dunphy, Giles would inadvertently enter the world of football punditry in 1986. He has since gone on to establish himself as the highly respected senior analyst on RTÉ Sport. In addition, he writes two columns per week for the Irish Evening Herald newspaper, and offers his opinions about the game on radio station, Newstalk 106.Close