Down through the years his match commentaries have been listened to by millions all over the world. He is also one of the most recognised faces. But above all else he is one of the most sincere and genuine people one could wish to meet. He is truly a legend in his own lifetime.
While his vast knowledge of all sports is unparalleled being a Kerryman it is little wonder Gaelic games is his greatest number one love.
Born in Dingle, Micheal who now resides in Dublin with his family, did his final commententary as national broadcaster with RTÉ radio after the All-Ireland football final in 2010 and the International Rules series between Ireland and Australia. However, it was not before, having made made his debut behind the microphone on St. Partick's day in 1949, that he did live commententary on 60 plus All-Ireland finals.
So, when a man with such vast experience of Gaelic football and especially All-Ireland finals gives his thoughts on the likely outcome of the Mayo versus Donegal final, one should listen and listen carefully.
Last week I caught up with the Kerry legend when his was in Mayo casting an eye on the Moy Davitts team who are involved in the’Celebrity Bainsteoir’ competition. Our conversation hadn’t long started when the subject of the forthcoming All-Ireland final raised its head.
From a Mayo point of view his thoughts were very encouraging as he rated their chances a lot more than most other of the national top GAA anylists. Indeed, he went so far by saying if Mayo stick to their own plan and style of play they would be in with a great chances of winning.
He said: “I am really looking forward to the All-Ireland football final as it is a unique pairing. In Mayo and Donegal they are very passionette about their football and having the two of them meeting in the final is sure to bring great colour Croke Park and make the 2012 decider a really special occasion.”
On the question of Mayo being the rank outsides in most of the GAA commentators’ eyes he didn’t agree.
“I am of the firm belief Mayo have every chance of beating Donegal. Yes, Donegal have been very impressive but so too have Mayo. They have gone about their business in a quiet manner and are in the final on merit.
“The one thing people seem to forget is Mayo has not mushroomed overnight. When James Horan took over he started building his own team from the beginning and got them playing the way he wanted them to.
“Last year they had a very good season. They kept their division one status and got to the All-Ireland semi-final after knocking out the reigning champions Cork. In the semi-final they made Kerry work very hard for their victory.
“In the 2012 national league they reached the final. Again they had some impressive victories especially against Kerry in Kerry where they had to get a result.
“In Connaught championship they did all that was asked of them – win it.
“They didn’t get a lot of credit after their big win over Down in the quarterfinal and were the underdogs against Dublin. But again they made little of their underdogs tag by producing a classic display.
“Here was a Mayo team that first had to plan for facing the reigning champions without one of their star players Andy Moran. On the morning of the game they lost wing back Colm Boyle who had a virus and the game was only 15 minutes old when their other wing back Lee Keegan had to leave the field with injury. If that wasn’t bad enough one of their star performers on the day Kevin McLoughlin had to be substituted early in the second half with a head injury and was only able to return to action late in the game.
“However, they took Dublin apart in the first half and while the Dubs made a great comeback in the final 20 minutes Mayo held their nerve in the closing moments to regroup and go on and win the game.
“While all of this was achieved by sticking to their game plan and playing their own game this victory against Dublin showed there is tremendous strength and depth in the Mayo squad.
“They are as good a Mayo team that I have seen for a long time. Their work rate and fitness is second to none. Along with that they have plenty of scoring power as we saw against Dublin where eight or nine of their players got on the score sheet.
“But let me not for one minute let you think I don’t rate Donegal highly. They are a very good side and have beaten very good teams on their way to the final. As we have seen so far they make it tough for any side with their style of play and will make it very tough for Mayo.
“You must remember Donegal have had their share of luck so far. Against Kerry in the quarterfinal I am not so sure they would have beaten them had they not got that very lucky goal. And had Cork got a goal when a thundering shot came crashing back off the crossbar and into the arms of a Donegal defender, I am not so sure either they would have won.
“Yet, I expect it to be a very tough and exciting final with little to separate the two teams. But if Mayo sticks to their own style of play they have every chance of at last succeeding.”