Author Archives: Robert Cox

About Robert Cox

I'm a sports journalist based in county Meath, Ireland. I have a passion for all sport, the people behind it and the stories they have to tell. You can find me on the sidelines, end terraces or a parade ring near you!

Irish Wonderkid Moloney Is United Hero In Champions League Final

The day I played for Manchester United. By Darragh Moloney, aged 7

Darragh Moloney in the black United away Jersey, with his brother at the Champions League home coming celebrations at Old Trafford.

It was a Saturday night at the Olympic Stadium in London and 80,000 fans were watching me. I was so excited to be playing in the Champions League Final. It was going to be a tough match.

It was Manchester United v Barcelona. I was a forward for Manchester United playing with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. The referee blew his whistle. I was the Captain so I took the kick off.

It was an intense match. Bruno Fernandes got the ball in the middle. He passed a great ball to me. I shot the ball and it was a great shot but Ter Stegen, the Barcelona keeper, made a brilliant save. It was a corner. The ball flew in like a rocket but one of the Barcelona defenders headed the ball away. Barcelona’a star player Messi was on the break. He was sprinting up the field. He shot and sadly he scored. Barcelona scored again and again. It was half time and we were down by three goals.

We had our team talk.

The match started and Barcelona took the kick off. One of the Barcelona defenders got the ball but I tackled him and scored. And then I scored again five minutes later and again one minute after that. It was one of the best comebacks I ever saw. The referee blew his whistle as it was now full time. But the match was not over yet, it was extra time.

Barcelona took an early lead but I was not giving up. Marcus Rashford scored for Manchester United and it was now 4-4. Messi then scored to bring it to 5- for Barcelona. In the last minute of extra time I was sprinting up to the Barcelona goal. The fans jumped out of their seats. I took a shot and it was a great goal. The referee blew his whistle and it went to penalties.

Barcelona took the first penalty and they scored. Bruno Fernandes took the next penalty for Manchester United and he also scored. Barcelona took the next penalty and they scored. Now it was my turn, I stepped up to the penalty spot and I shot the ball into the top corner of the net. Barcelona scored their next three penalties but so did Manchester United. It was sudden death….

Messi was up first for Barcelona. He struck the ball it it hit the post. Now it was my turn again. If I scored this I would win the match for my team and get to lift the cup. There was silence in the stadium and my heart was beating really fast but I knew that I could score. I stepped up to the ball and I sent the keeper the wrong way and the ball went into the bottom corner of the net.

We had won the Champions League Final.

Just when I was about to lift the cup I felt something on my shoulder and it was shaking me. It was My DAD!!!! He was telling me to get up and get dressed for school.

When I went to school I told all of my friends about my adventures playing for Manchester United.

The End.

MY Story – By Lester Cassidy

My Story – By Lester Cassidy

It was the 23rd of July 1998, just four days after my 19th birthday and for me it was just another Thursday at work as an apprentice carpenter, or so I thought… Little did I know, in the blink of an eye, my life would be turned upside down and changed forever.

Shortly after lunchtime as I was working on the roof of a two story house on a building site in Leixlip, the scaffolding gave way from underneath me and I fell about 24ft. I’ll never forget trying to grab scaffolding bars mid fall trying to save myself or break my fall but unlike you see in the movies it’s near impossible. I hit the ground with tremendous force. Unfortunately I landed on a scaffolding plank on its side, I’ll never forget the sound of hearing my back snap and the pain that followed. Immediately I knew I was in Serious trouble. My legs went all pins and needles and I couldn’t move them. It seemed like an age waiting on the emergency services to arrive, but it probably only took about half an hour. I was rushed straight to the Mater hospital where I underwent a five hour operation.

The next day, surrounded by very upset and concerned family members and my girlfriend Rachel, a doctor explained to me that I had sustained a double fractured broken back but More importantly inoperable damage had been done to my spinal cord. I was paralysed from the waist down and I might never walk again!!!

During the next two weeks in the Mater spinal ward, I was bed bound, you have all day for things to play on your mind, maybe I was in denial but paralysis long term never really crossed my mind. I have always been a very positive guy, I just presumed I was going to make a full recovery and be back on my feet in no time. A specialist from The National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) came to assess me and it was decided that I would be going there in a couple weeks to learn to be independant again.

I must admit before being a patient in the NRH I never even knew it existed, and wow what an amazing place it was…..I was surrounded by stroke patients, amputees, paraplegics, quadriplegics, tetraplegics(neck down) and brain injuries….there’s no feeling sorry for yourself there, there is always someone much worse off than you. All the staff from nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists do the most amazing job with one goal in mind, to get the patient back to being as independant and healthy as possible, they are inspirational.

I was still very sick when I arrived at the NRH, I just couldn’t stop vomiting, it was like my body just couldn’t adapt to being paralysed. Kildare won the Leinster final that week and Davey Dalton(Kilcock legend) brought a few of the players in to see me……that visit gave me great encouragement and belief, I stopped getting sick that day and was finally on the road to recovery.

Being put into a wheelchair for the first time, that was very traumatic !!! It was a strange and scary feeling, I think myself Rachel and the whole family cried for most of that day. A family therapist came to see us and I have to say it was one of the toughest days of my life.
I never looked back from that day on, I am a very positive person, I was ready to move forward, that was my only “bad” day.

After I had my back brace removed I worked very hard, learning how to dress myself again, to go to the toilet….building up strength in the physio department each day so that I could push about in the wheelchair…..i was determined to make the best of my situation. I even learned how to drive!!! Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII) set up a driving programme for patients, i signed up and on my first lesson i was out on the busy dublin roads, i nearly had a heart attack.
I had great fun with all the nurses, doctors and staff each day, they filled my days with fun divilment and laughter, you wouldn’t feel like you were in a hospital at all.
I got to meet some of the most amazing people, patients who were going through the exact same journey as me. The bonds that you make in hospital are very special, you are there for each other, you become almost family. I guess it’s a bit like War Vets, you have mutual respect for one another and maybe only people who have lived through such a life altering experience can truly understand the other. I’m glad to say I’m still in contact with a few of these very dear friends.

Apart from the amazing support I received during this time from Rachel and my family, I also was blessed with a super network of friends and a very warm community spirit of my home town Kilcock. Nobody once treated me any differently when i returned home in a wheelchair, this made my transition so much easier to just move on with my life and not dwell on the past.

Shortly after my release from NRH myself and Rachel went travelling for a few months,we saw the world, places like Australia and New Zealand, it was a truly amazing experience. Then we settled down, built a house and got married. We have been truly blessed with three amazing kids. I am a stay at home dad and I have to say I love it. It’s the most rewarding job in the world. My kids are everything to me.

“Alright I never got power or feeling back in my legs, but I did recover to have a powerful life”.

A part of me always felt like I owed something to those amazing people who looked after me when I was down and at my lowest. I recently found out that the NRH are building a new hospital and I think now is the time for me to stand up🙈 and help out, if ever funds were needed it’s now!!!!

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do things in halves, if I’m gonna do a fundraiser I’m gonna take on something big…..what bigger than a mountain……

LET’S CLIMB CROAGH PATRICK !!!!!
♿⛰️💪💪💪

So once again, almost twenty two years later I’m asking for your help and support. I’m asking all of you guys to PLEASE DONATE via the link below 🙏

https://www.idonate.ie/LesterCassidy

ALSO PLEASE COME JOIN ME ON 18TH JULY I can’t do this without your help!!!

I’m going have a big party after the climb, in the Westport Coast Hotel, music, food and craic and I hope you can all make it.

The NRH amd SII made a massive impact on my life and nothing in life is promised, you never know if you or someone you love will need the help of this hospital someday. They are worth our support. So please, please donate, even something small.

Thanks for taking some time out and reading my story…… Please share it with all your family and friends 👍

“Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive”…. Be happy….Lester Cassidy.

https://www.idonate.ie/LesterCassidy

Please Donate 🙏

Maye continues along the right path at Dundalk

Having recently enjoyed three successes on the bounce with Geological, Maynooth Jockey Vanessa Maye once again teamed up with trainer Damian English to win with another of Dundalk Races favourite sons, Tribal Path, in the Crown Plaza Dundalk Race and Stay Handicap Division II, at the County Louth track this evening.

Maye, now claiming 7lb, partnered the nine year old to his eighth career victory on his 79th start, picking up her fourth career win as a jockey in the process.

Along with picking up the win, Maye would have been equally excited by the fact that her older sister Jessica rode in her first race under rules, when she partnered up with the John Geoghegan trained ‘Lady Boomerang’

Richards leads Kilcock to medal success at Kildare Cross Country

The St Cocas’ team who picked up silver medals in the Kildare Cross Country Championships Senior Women’s Race.

St Cocas AC had a fine morning on The Curragh at the Kildare Cross Country Championships last Sunday, December 1st.

In what was the last Kildare fixture of the year, the Kilcock based club fielded two u10 teams, three u12 and two u14 teams in the new mixed relays.

The u14s team consisting of Daniel Geraghty, Aoishe Gormley, Sadhbh Buckley and Brian Caffrey won their race with some fine running from all.

After the underage relays it was the turn of the seniors. First up in the senior women’s 4k, Áine Burke finished 3rd individually, leading her team to 2nd place overall, with Kirsten Monaghan, Lynda Gormley, Niamh Cleary and Olivia Bermingham and Burke picking up silver.

In the men’s race 17 year old Eoin Richards became one of the youngest athletes to win the race when he had an impressive win in the senior 10k race.

Eoin’s victory, along with some fine performances from the rest of the team, meant that St Cocas picked up bronze in the senior men’s team event. Backing Eoin up were Shane McNerney, Niall O’Reilly, Leeroy Graham, Patrick Conlon and Henry Cahill.

Thanks to Carmel Kelly for the info and Dermot Kelly for the photos.

Kilcock duo selected for Dublin Basketball team!

Andrea Goggins (left) and Saoirse Reidy in their Kilcock Basketball gear

Kilcock Basketball players Saoirse Reidy and Andrea Goggins have been selected to play for the Dublin u12’s girls Basketball team.

The pair, who are part of Julie Reidy’s Kilcock u12 side, were picked after their fine performances in two tough trials, where 120 girls from the Dublin League battled it out.

Kilcock play in the Dublin Leagues, hence why the girls are eligible to play for the Metropolitan.

Saoirse lives in Kilcock and also plays for Kilcock LGFA, while Andrea resides in Kinnegad.

Summerhill Sensation Set To Face Off With Ryan Tubridy

Eleven year old boxer Ella Thompson from Summerhill, County Meath will appear on this year’s Late Late Toy Show this coming Friday, November 29th.

Ella, who attends St Patrick’s National School in Trim, will get to live the dream of every child up and down the country by appearing on the most viewed TV show annually in Ireland. While there, she will show off her amazing boxing skills, working the pads with Ryan Tubridy, before taking part in an interview and reviewing some sports toys. Someone better warn Tubridy to bulk up before Friday or face been knocked down by the Summerhill Star!!

Ella, who lives and breathes sport, has also played Gaelic Football, ran for St Cocas Kilcock and has done kickboxing since the age of five. She took up boxing three years ago with South Meath Boxing Club, where she was coached by her dad Cliff.

This year Ella has joined Dunboyne Boxing Club and started boxing competitively, as you become eligible to do so when you turn eleven. She is also part of Steven O’Rourkes professional gym in Inchicore, where her dad is also a trainer.

This year alone Ella was Leinster finalist, a Monkstown finalist, Esker International Female Champion and Wexford Cup Finalist, to mention a few. She is making serious strides and certainty has a bright future ahead.

RTÉ have definitely taken interest as she will also appear on Nationwide in January.

Dad Cliff, who is understandably very proud of his daughter, was full of praise for her when I caught up with him earlier this week; “Ella’s a phenomenal boxing talent. She attends Steven O’Rourkes’ gym in Inchicore. Steven and Ella have fantastic understanding and he thinks the world of her and her talent. She has also spared with Joe Ward and Pete Taylor and both were seriously impressed with her. Ella’s ultimate goal is to be an Olympian. We are very proud of her, for a girl of her years she has such a drive and ambition”

Ryan Tubridy, you’ve been warned!!!

St Cocas Athlete named on the Irish Cross Country team

St Cocas AC athlete Aoife O’Cuill has been selected for Ireland’s u20 Cross Country team to compete in the upcoming European Championships, that are due to take place in Lisbon on the 8th of December this year.

Aoife is the current u20/Junior Leinster Cross Country champion and she finished in 5th place at yesterday’s All-Ireland Championships at the same age group in Abbotstown.

It won’t be the first time that the Newtown native will pull on the green singlet, as she represented her country on the track over 3000m in the Celtic Games in Scotland in August 2018.

Aoife is a past secondary school student in Maynooth and the took to Facebook today to send their best wishes to one of Irish Athletics rising stars: “We send our warmest congratulations and good wishes to past pupil Aoife O’Cuill who has been selected for Ireland’s U20 Cross Country team to compete in the upcoming European Championships. Aoife has had great success while running for her school and club and now we wish her the best of luck as she runs for her country”

Aoife also won the u18 All-Ireland 3000m in Tullamore in 2018 (which lead to her representation in Scotland) and was crowned Extra Time Sport ‘Sports person of the year 2018’