Belfast Telegraph

Polish girl 'bought' by FAI official for a bottle of Scotch rescued by Irish footballers Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles and Joe Kinnear in 1960s

Football pundit tells how he and his teammates rescued girl on away game in 1960s

By John Spain

A Football Association of Ireland (FAI) official 'bought' a girl with a bottle of Scotch and a box of cigarettes during the 1960s, Eamon Dunphy has claimed.

The renowned Irish football pundit revealed how he, along with Johnny Giles and Joe Kinnear, came to the rescue of an impoverished young Polish girl after an "a***hole from rural Ireland" -- an FAI official now dead -- negotiated with her for sexual favours.

They devised a ruse to get the girl out of the man's room and "saw her safely into the night" while the half-naked FAI official chased her down the corridor trying to retrieve the cigarettes and drink.

The highly embarrassing revelations about the conduct of some of the "Blazers" who accompanied the Irish team to Poland in the 1960s are made by Dunphy in his forthcoming no-holds-barred autobiography.

The book, which is published next week, will be serialised in the Irish Independent from tomorrow.

"The FAI had a special relationship with their Polish counterparts," writes Dunphy in the book.

"Ireland played Poland six times between 1964 and 1970. All the games were friendlies. The remarkable frequency of our trips to Poland did not go unnoticed in the soccer community.

"In their post-match speeches, the Blazers invariably referred to the special relationship between the two countries. Both Catholic, both oppressed by larger neighbours," he writes.

However, the players themselves were less than enthusiastic about the trips to Poland, he reveals.

"Life was bleak behind the Iron Curtain. The food was lousy; the people were sullen. The misery of a Communist existence was tangible."

Dunphy tells how the Irish posse would be approached on after-dinner strolls around town by young people looking for denim jeans or English cigarettes.

While in the hotel, young women "stalked the bars and lobby", seeking dollars from the visitors from the West.

"For some of the Blazers, this was Dreamland," writes Dunphy.

"The man with the hundred-dollar bill was king."

But while some FAI officials shopped for the best local goods, another "bought local girls," he claims.

"One a***hole from rural Ireland (an FAI official now dead) boasted of buying a young woman, a student, he claimed, for 200 Marlboro cigarettes."

The night before a game in Poznan, Dunphy was sitting in the hotel lobby with John Giles and Joe Kinnear when he spotted the "fat little Blazer" with a young Polish girl. It was clear they were "negotiating," Dunphy explains, adding: "As they headed for the lift, it was clear a deal had been struck."

"This Blazer was one of the worst of his type, a big-shot in a small Irish town. He was a great man for the duty-free, the black-market Zlotys (Polish currency) and young girls desperate for a few quid."

Dunphy turned to Giles and Kinnear, suggesting: "Come on, lads, let's f*** him up."

They got the man's room number and rang the phone. In broken English, Dunphy asked to speak to his "girlfriend" and the FAI official "panicked" and put the girl on the line.

"Whatever he's giving you, we'll pay more," Dunphy told her, arranging to meet her at the lift on the fifth floor.

"His door opened and the girl emerged carrying her 'wages': a bottle of duty-free Scotch and 200 Marlboro. As she hastened towards us, your man appeared naked except for his open shirt.

"As he began to chase the girl down the corridor looking to retrieve his swag, the little bastard spotted us laughing at him," writes Dunphy.

"We gave the girl 50 dollars and saw her safely into the night," he adds.

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