HERO MEETING: Classmates, Brian O’Sullivan and Sean Cox, both aged 11, met their hero Shane Long after last Friday night’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.


By Sean Moriarty

A trip to see the Republic of Ireland soccer team take on Denmark in Copenhagen last Friday night turned into a memorable trip for two Kilcummin school boys.

Classmates, Brian O’Sullivan and Sean Cox, both aged 11, were taken to see the Euro 2020 qualifier at the Danish capital’s Parken Stadium by their dads Brian and Tom.

The trip itself should have been a highlight for the two soccer mad youngsters but what happened afterwards will mean the two school pals will never forget the match.

Ahead of the game they each made up posters asking for their respective idols – Brian is a huge Shane Duffy fan and his classmate Sean is a James McClean fan – to give them their jerseys after the match.

“When I saw them going off with their poster I thought they had no chance,” Brian’s mother Maura told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they got to the stadium early and the Irish team was out practicing and saw the posters and gave the two boys the thumbs up.”

History will record that Shane Long scored the equalising goal, much to the delight of Sean.

After the game James McLean sought out the four Killarney fans in the crowd and handed his jersey to Tom – but Shane Duffy was unable to make it across the pitch.

Sensing Sean’s disappointment the two enterprising dads made their way to the back of the stadium and met a security guard and explained their situation. The guard took their posters to the Irish team’s dressing room and a few minutes later Long appeared and met the two boys.

“It was just fantastic for them,” said Maura.

“Shane Long apologised that all the jerseys were gone away to be washed, but promised Sean he would get it for him.”

On Tuesday of this week the FAI emailed the O’Sullivan family to say the jersey was in the post to them.