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WATCH: Colm Cooper addresses the testimonial dinner furore

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

04:23 10 Oct 2017


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Over the last few days, there has been plenty of scrutiny around the planned testimonial dinner for Kerry great Colm Cooper.

The Gooch, who has recently published his autobiography, joined Joe for an in-depth chat and the topic of the dinner came up at the end of the interview. 

"I think this blew up because people were talking about, 'Jeez, he's going to make €200,000 and all this'. I think that got lost a little bit somewhere in between the charity, Dr Crokes and Kerry here," he said.

WATCH: Colm Cooper addresses the testimonial dinner furore

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

"So maybe the figures that people are throwing out and what might happen - and we don't know - I know the majority will be going to the two charities and to Kerry and Dr Crokes. Until the night, we won't know what that's going to be."

When asked a ball park figure for a percentage in terms of how the proceeds will be split, Cooper responded, "Over 50%" going to charity.

Kerry legend Colm 'Gooch' Cooper is to be honoured with an historic first ever testimonial dinner for a GAA player at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin on Friday, October 27th ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

"What that's going to be I don't know, Joe, because at the moment we're about 95% full but it's looking like we will have a full house and the response in the last week, 10 days has been really, really good and the thing about this was we were going into the unknown here," he said.

"We didn't know if there was going to be any appetite for this. Being a GAA player, I was lucky enough to go to Brian O'Driscoll's, I was lucky enough to go to Ronan O'Gara's down in Cork. I was saying to myself, wouldn't it be brilliant if we - like, the guys were saying 'would you be interested?' and when I went to these guys I said, 'Look, here's an opportunity that's a celebration of Irish sport of careers, you can make money and give money to people along the way'. I was surprised and I didn't see the big fuss afterwards and maybe I underestimated that."

He also emphasised that "it's a testimonial event, not a charity event" and that he wanted to "give money to as many people as I could" including Kerry GAA and Dr Crokes.

In the full interview, Cooper discusses the prospect of whether GAA would ever go down the route of professionalism, how the passing of his father and mother affected him on and off the pitch and the sense of what might have been after 2009 as Kerry fell short in every year but the 2014 All Ireland.

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