Niall Quinn reveals just how close he came to becoming a Sporting Lisbon player

Ireland legend and Sky Sports pundit chats to Team 33's Raf Diallo

Niall Quinn, Sky Sports

Sky Sports will show a record 159 Premier League games this season – nearly 4 times more than any broadcaster – including exclusive 3pm kick-offs for the first time. Upgrade to Sky Sports today by calling 0818 904 082 and get Free HD with Sky Box Sets for 12 months. Pictured today Niall Quinn ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

For Irish viewers of Premier League football, we'll be seeing a lot more of Niall Quinn.

This season, Sky Sports will be broadcasting the English top flight's 3 o'clock kick-offs in Ireland and the Boys in Green legend will be fronting the coverage along with presenter Hayley McQueen.

Quinn, of course, spent his entire playing career in England, with Arsenal, Manchester City and Sunderland but in 1995 he came close to making the move abroad.

He shared that story with Newstalk's Team 33 at the launch of Sky's 2016-17 Premier League coverage.

"I suppose it came out of the blue," said Quinn on the prospect of a move to Lisbon at a time when he was still at Man City.

"Really why it came about was because we played Portugal here in the old Landsdowne one night and I had a really good game and virtually the next day an agent had rang and said they wanted to speak to Man City. It took a while but [Manchester United's future assistant manager under Alex Ferguson] Carlos Quieroz was the Sporting manager at the time and he wanted me to go there. 

"I went out [to Lisbon], City agreed a fee, everything was fine. I just had a row with Manchester City about money that was owed to me which in the end scuppered the deal.

"But everytime I see Sporting Lisbon play, I ask myself the question: What would it have been like? Because we went to the point of where we had our house picked. So we knew where we would be living and where there were schools for our children to go. We'd kind of done everything but turn up. They gave me a week to sort it out but it didn't get sorted out and they signed somebody else and that was the end of it."

Quinn also spoke to me about his little and large partnership with old Sunderland team-mate Kevin Philips, talked Ireland post-Euros, punditry with Sky and the time he saved a penalty and relegated that opposition team in the process. 

That interview will be played out on Newstalk's Team 33 next week at 11pm Tuesday and on podcast.

 

Sky Sports will show a record 159 Premier League games this season – nearly 4 times more than any broadcaster – including exclusive 3pm kick-offs for the first time. Upgrade to Sky Sports today by calling 0818 904 082 and get Free HD with Sky Box Sets for 12 months.
Pictured today Niall Quinn and Hayley McQueen with Gary Hughes, Sky Sports Head of Football ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Sky Sports live Premier League Fixtures (Sat 13 August – Monday 26 September)

August

Hull City v Leicester City Sat 13 Aug 12.30pm
Everton v Tottenham Sat 13 Aug 3.00pm**
Bournemouth v Man United Sun 14 Aug 1.30pm
Arsenal v Liverpool Sun 14 Aug 4.00pm
Chelsea v West Ham Mon 15 Aug 8.00pm
Man United v Southampton Fri 19 Aug 8.00pm
Stoke City v Manchester City Sat 20 Aug 12.30pm
Burnley v Liverpool Sat 20 Aug 3.00pm**
Sunderland v Middlesbrough Sun 21 Aug 1.30pm
West Ham v Bournemouth Sun 21 Aug 4.00pm
Tottenham v Liverpool Sat 27 Aug 12.30pm
Watford v Arsenal Sat 27 Aug 3.00pm**
West Brom v Middlesbrough Sun 28 Aug 1.30pm
Manchester City v West Ham Sun 28 Aug 4.00pm

September

Man United v Manchester City Sat 10 Sept 12.30pm
Stoke v Tottenham Sat 10 Sept 3.00pm**
Swansea City v Chelsea Sun 11 Sept 4.00pm
Sunderland v Everton Mon 12 Sept 8.00pm
Chelsea v Liverpool Fri 16 Sept 8.00pm
Hull v Arsenal Sat 17 Sept 3.00pm**
Crystal Palace v Stoke City Sun 18 Sept 2.15pm
Tottenham v Sunderland Sun 18 Sept 4.00pm
Man United v Leicester City Sat 24 Sept 12.30pm
Swansea v Manchester City Sat 24 Sept 3.00pm**
West Ham v Southampton Sun 25 Sept 1.30pm
Burnley v Watford Mon 26 Sept 8.00pm

**Matches shown in the Republic of Ireland only

Sky Sports will show a record 159 Premier League games this season – nearly 4 times more than any broadcaster – including exclusive 3pm kick-offs for the first time. Upgrade to Sky Sports today by calling 0818 904 082 and get Free HD with Sky Box Sets for 12 months. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan