Colm 'Gooch' Cooper responds to Joe Brolly criticisms on the Late Late Show

By Sally Gorman

Colm 'Gooch' Cooper last night defended his decision to have a testimonial on the Late Late Show.

Cooper, the first GAA player to have a testimonial, was widely criticised for even considering it.

GAA pundit, Joe Brolly was one of the first off the mark.

He said: "As an icon of Irish sport, Colm could have set an example of altruism but instead he has chosen to enrich himself.

"What could have been a night the GAA could have taken great pride in has instead become something cheap and self-serving."

The multi All-Ireland winning footballer responded to Brolly's comments when he joined Ryan Tubridy last night.

He laughed: "Sure we all know that Joe Brolly is the greatest player ever, so how could we challenge him on that."

Cooper went on to reveal that Brolly had since sent him to a text to apologise because the reaction has gone "overboard".

He said: "On a serious note, Joe actually sent me a text this week to say ‘Sorry about all the fuss. I wish there wasn’t a reaction that there was. It’s gone overboard. And I apologise’.

“So he’s obviously changed his tune and now fully respects that I am entitled to have a testimonial night if I want."

However, the GAA Pundit has taken to Twitter to defend his position on the matter claiming to "stand by every word".

The celebrated Kerry All-Star still stands by his decision to hold the event, having attended other Irish athletes' testimonials in the past.

“I had been to Brian O’Driscoll’s testimonial, I was at Ronan O’Gara’s in Cork and I just thought they were amazing nights, so well done, celebrations of Irish sport more than anything else and you were able to give money to so many people, raising vital funds.

“So I said: Why shouldn’t a GAA player be able to do that, because GAA players are admired in this country as much as rugby players, if not more so?

“And I said to myself, why not a GAA player?”

Cooper's corporate dinner is to be held in Dublin on October 27, and the thirty-four-year-old revealed that alongside his chosen charities Crumlin Children's Hospital and Kerry Cancer Support that Kerry GAA and his own club Dr Crokes, will also be benefitting from the event financially.

Despite the criticism, the Kerry forward is looking forward to the event.

He said: “It’s going to be a great night with 450 people confirmed to be going, some coming from the UK and America.

“It could be the first of many. Who knows, this could be a new trend.”

Colm Cooper appeared on the Late Late Show to talk about his autobiography 'Gooch' available in stores now.


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