Kenny Cunningham reveals what he regards to be his most embarrassing moment in football

Ex-Ireland defender recalls an incident from his underage football days

BY Raf Diallo 20:07 Wednesday 11 January 2017, 20:07 11 Jan 2017

Kenny Cunningham ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Kenny Cunningham was never one to get ruffled by pressure and opposition on a football field for club or country.

But diving back into his memory bank, the former Ireland defender does have one moment he regards as his most embarrassing as a player.

He was on Off The Ball alongside former Ireland team-mate Kevin Kilbane and his recollection goes back to his pre-professional career days. 

"It was a semi-final of an All-Ireland on the south side of Dublin. Big game, we travelled out there. It could have been [against] Stella Maris, one of the bigger sides we were playing," he said.

"I think we were 1-0 up with minutes to go. The game was stopped. There was a collision between two players in the penalty box and it looks as if it's a serious injury.

Kevin and Kenny

"Players stopped and started running over to see how the players. I walked over. The ball was on the ground. So as I was walking towards it, I picked up the ball, put it under the arm and went over just to have a look and see if the lads were okay."

Unfortunately for Cunningham, he didn't realise one thing!

"All of a sudden, the referee's whistle has gone. Penalty! And I'm standing there with the ball tucked under my arm. In the penalty area."

Cunningham then burst out laughing at the memory before clarifying why he had been deemed at fault by the ref: "I'm looking around thinking 'what's the referee doing?'

"He gave the penalty [because] I picked the ball up. The referee hadn't blown his whistle [for the collision]."

Kenny also shared his memories of playing Gaelic football at underage level alongside the likes of Dessie Farrell and current Dublin manager Jim Gavin.

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