I wrote about another retirement yesterday - I seem to have written quite a few of them recently. They are almost always tinged with sadness, having the feeling of an obituary.

The big advantage I have is that my obituaries are mostly about the living so I get the chance to hear their thoughts on what's been said about them before it goes out on general release.

John Francis Mooney became the latest of the 2007 World Cup squad to call time on a glittering career.

Tributes poured in from colleagues and friends past and present. Most contained the words passionate, determined, proud. Cut John Boy and he bleeds green.

My career with Ireland almost coincided with his as I became involved with the Irish Cricket Union in various roles around the time of his debut in 2001.

His first match was against England ECB - he'd go on to play 182 times for his country with his most famous 'Ray Houghton' moment coming in that never to be forgotten night in Bangalore.

I went down to the dressing room during that famous run chase with John Boy padded up and next up to bat. "Barry Boy, I don't care if we never win another feckin match in our lives as long as we beat these b******s!"

He got his wish and asked by Sky as he came off the field how he felt about the win? "Best feckin day of my life!"

John Boy often said what he really thought rather than what he thought people wanted to hear. He was brutally honest, which at times made my job as media manager difficult, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

We both got into trouble in our careers over Maggie Thatcher. John caused a media storm on Twitter when after her death he expressed a hope that it was "slow and painful."

My trouble with Maggie came much earlier - back in 1987 I was invited by a friend from University to a quiz in Ross-On-Wye where he was on a work placement with Rank Xerox.

What he didn't tell me was that it was being held in a Conservative Club which had what can only be described as a shrine to Maggie.

We won the quiz easily but by this stage I was a little mischievous and if truth be told drunk. They held an auction at the end in which one of the items was an umbrella which featured a large picture of Maggie.

The bids started at 1, 2 etc, until I stood up and shouted in my broad Derry accent 50! There was a tremendous round of applause but my friend looked aghast as he knew I didn't have 50p in my pocket. We still laugh about it to this day.

John has struggled with his well documented troubles with alcohol and mental health issues. His bravery in going public about it saw him rightly earn plaudits about it from all over Ireland and beyond.

The day after his revelations about his demons on RTE he scored a quite superb 96 against Scotland, narrowly missing out on a hundred I don't think even the Scots would have begrudged him.

I don't think I've ever been angrier than earlier this year when a Zimbabwe Herald "journalist" smeared him during the World Cup. Robson Sharuko needs to know that he is in my little black book - and that I have a memory like an elephant.

Another time, I felt responsible when John was embarrassed live on radio with a question about the Thatcher tweet after I'd received assurances that it wouldn't be discussed.

He decided from that point he'd only give interviews to those he knew and trusted - the Irish journos who had followed us everywhere, and who genuinely loved Irish cricket. We are a cricketing family and when trouble surfaces we close ranks and support each other.

I'm certain he'll continue to be a success in whatever he does next - there's a desire to get into coaching, to which I'm sure he will bring the same passion and enthusiasm as he did on the field.

I'll miss John Boy on and off the field. I don't think we'll appreciate just what a pivotal all-rounder slot he occupied at number 7/8 filling a variety of roles.

I'll have to find someone else to share my Liverpool miseries with - come back Boyd Rankin - your country and I need you!