Michael Lyster

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Michael Lyster
Michael Lyster

(1954-04-11) 11 April 1954 (age 65)
EducationSt. Jarlath's College
OccupationSports broadcaster
Years active1980–2018
Notable credit(s)
The Sunday Game
Spouse(s)Anne Lyster (1985-present)

Michael Lyster (born 11 April 1954) is an Irish radio and television broadcaster who works for RTÉ. He mainly covers sporting events, such as Gaelic games and Olympic Games. He best known for presenting The Sunday Game Live, which he hosted from 1984 to 2018.[1]

Early life[edit]

The son of a member of An Garda Síochána, Lyster was born in Dungarvan, County Waterford. When he was four years-old his father was transferred to Barnaderg, County Galway, where Lyster spent his formative years. He was educated at St Jarlath's College in nearby Tuam. After leaving school, he started working in the lab of the local sugar factory.[2]



Lyster began his journalistic career as a junior reporter with the Tuam Herald where he wrote a music column. He spent seven years with that newspaper before moving to television and radio.[citation needed]

Television and radio[edit]

In 1980, Lyster joined RTÉ as a sports bulletin broadcaster with Radio 2, however, as his career progressed he began presenting programmes and covering high-profile sporting events. In his first year at the national broadcaster he also covered the Olympic Games on radio. One of the highlights of his early career was covering the 1982 and 1983 All-Ireland hurling finals for radio. In 1984 Lyster took over as presenter of The Sunday Game, a post he held for 34 years. That same year he was one of the main presenters for RTÉ's television coverage of the Olympic Games, co-hosting with Moya Doherty on Daybreak LA. This was RTÉ's first venture into breakfast television.

In 1988, Lyster won a Jacob's Award for his work on The Sunday Game. Since then Lyster has covered a number of sports for RTÉ across all codes and has been an ever-present feature on RTÉ's coverage of Olympic Games. He remains, however, mostly associated with Gaelic games and has been one of the main presenters of the All-Star and the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year awards shows.

In 2007, Lyster took part in Celebrity Jigs 'n' Reels.[3] Famously, when a penalty was applied to Hannah Craig during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Carl Dunne, head of the Irish canoeing team, telephoned RTÉ's analyst to discuss the possibility of appealing the decision. The analyst took the telephone call live on television as a bemused Lyster watched on.[4]

After suffering ill health, Lyster decided to retire from The Sunday Game at the end of 2018, with the 2018 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final his last as presenter.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Lyster has been married to his wife Anne since 1985 and together they have two boys and two girls. They live in Cabinteely in Dublin. Lyster has been interested in rally driving which he has enjoyed since the early 1990s. He has partook in many main events including the Cork International Rally where he finished third in 1992, the Circuit of Ireland Rally and the Killarney Rally of the Lakes. His co-driver is Irish Independent sports writer Vincent Hogan.[7]


On 5 June 2015 at 11:32pm Lyster had a major heart attack and was rushed to hospital. He had been playing golf in Galway with friend Vincent Hogan who drove him back to Dublin afterwards. He left his mobile phone in Vincent's car who he rang from his house phone asking him to return to the house with the mobile. Hogan returned to find him collapsed on the ground in the hallway. Lyster's wife Anne performed CPR while Vincent called for an ambulance. He had a pacemaker fitted after receiving treatment.[8] Lyster later disclosed that he had suffered from a heart condition for a number of years prior to the attack.[9]


  1. ^ "Michael Lyster's love for Gaelic games came from growing up in the football heartland of Barna Derg". Sunday Tribune. 10 September 2000. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Michael Lyster: RTÉ presenter". Galway Independent. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Contestants: Michael Lyster". RTÉ. 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Video: RTÉ Olympic analyst takes call live on air to sort out Hannah Craig's canoeing appeal". JOE.ie. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  5. ^ "End of an era as Lyster bows out". Hogan Stand. 28 August 2018. Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  6. ^ "77 All-Ireland finals, one Michael Lyster". The 42. 2 September 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Lifestyles - Michael Lyster". Irish Health. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  8. ^ Massive heart attack almost kills RTÉ’s Michael Lyster, irishtimes.com; accessed 21 December 2017.
  9. ^ RTE star Michael Lyster tells of how his wife Anne saved his life with CPR after he had cardiac arrest, independent.ie; accessed 21 December 2017.