WATCH: Friends and team-mates pay touching tribute to Anthony Foley at RTE Sport awards

The late Munster man was an icon of Irish rugby

BY Adrian Collins 08:01 Sunday 18 December 2016, 8:01 18 Dec 2016

Image: RTE Sports/Twitter

The late Anthony Foley was remembered at the RTÉ Sport Awards on Saturday night as they looked back at the year that was in Irish sport. 

Friends and team-mates were interviewed for the tribute, including Brian O'Driscoll, Mick Galwey and Jerry Flannery, along with Donal Lenihan and others who had pulled on the red or the green jersey alongside the man everyone knew as Axel. 

The Munster legend was given the Sport Ireland Hall of Fame Award on the night as recognition of his contribution to the game of rugby and sport in the country in general, but it was the tributes paid to him by friends and peers that really brought home how much he had meant to everyone who had met him. 

 "If you were with Ireland, the Ulster lads, the Leinster lads, the Connacht lads; they all got a feel for Axel straight away and I think that was reflected in when he passed - the way everyone just kind of rallied around," Flannery explained, because Axel was the guy you just loved being friends with."

"Anthony brought us from the amateur days to the professional days to conquering Europe, and when people look back and read about that and they look at the story of Munster, they'll see Anthony Foley's name," Galwey added. "And if they want to go back further and see about the time they beat the All Blacks, they'll see his father's name there, so I don't think it gets any better; for a father and son to give us our two greatest triumphs, I think it is a tribute to Anthony and his dad."

Foley's sister and former Irish international Rosie accepted the award on behalf of the family, while the audience gave a standing ovation in memory of the iconic number eight.

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