Lifford man Seamus Given revealed how he watched his son limping in agony just hours before his heroics against Russia in Moscow during the European Championships qualifiers last night.
Seamus revealed “He is in a lot of pain with his back. I saw him a while before the game and he looked like he was on crutches because he was dragging his legs.
“I told him he would not be able to play but he told me he had to. He got a pain-killing injection and he was okay.
“But as a father you have all these emotions. My fingers were sore at the end of the game because I had them crossed so tightly.
“Thankfully it all turned out well and we have a really good chance of qualifying now,” he said.
Seamus was speaking to the Shaun Doherty Show on Highland Radio after returned to Moscow almost ten years after vowing never to step foot in Russia again.
Soccer-mad Seamus Given had more than €700 taken when his wallet was stolen while following the Irish team in Moscow back in 2002.
He had vowed never to return to Russia again after the incident.
However the Donegal man yesterday admitted he had done a u-turn and is glad he did.
Seamus said the country has changed completely.
“It is a fantastic place – completely different than what it was in 2002.
“Back then it wasn’t a great place and I had my wallet stolen among many other things.
“But this time it’s completely different – there are no beggars or robbers on the street. They have changed it completely,” he said.
However Seamus, who follows his son and the Irish team around the world, admitted watching his son keep a clean sheet against Russia didn’t come cheap.
“They certainly know how to charge alright – it’s not cheap. A pint costs about €8.50 and a sirloin steak costs about €40 and that’s without the trimmings.
“They certainly know how to charge alright but what can you do about it when you’re here,” said Seamus.