David Maher/Sportsfile Coleman with Special Olympic athletes (L-R) Gerard McNulty, Paul Roban, Darren Warren, Matthew O'Neill, Gary O'Brien, Patrick O'Shea, Jordan Fahy and Patrick Morgan
collection day
My brother Stevie got the skills, says Special Olympics ambassador Seamus Coleman
Annual collection hopes to raise €500,000 towards the cost of the Special Olympics Ireland Games this June.

SEAMUS COLEMAN HAS lit up the Premier League this season — but he’s quick to admit that the other footballer in his family is the skilful one.

Big brother Stevie was part of the Irish team which won bronze medals when the Special Olympics World Games came here in 2003.

“It was a massive for our family and massive for our town,” Coleman told ahead of the charity’s annual bucket collection which takes place today in 200 towns across the country.

“He was a striker so he was a bit more skilful than me!”

Although he has since retired through injury Stevie, who has cerebral palsy, is active as a volunteer in their hometown of Killybegs while Seamus is one of their main ambassadors.

Today’s collection day aims to raise €500,000 towards the cost of the Special Olympics Ireland Games which take place in Limerick this June.

Coleman said: “It’s good to get people talking about the Special Olympics and to realise how close it is to me. Hopefully people will take notice.

I can’t explain how important it is for the athletes and the joy it brings to their faces. That’s why it’s such a big deal for me, and the parents and brothers and sisters of all the athletes.

“You can never stop getting the word out there and letting people know about the work the Special Olympics does.”

“The majority of people back home are absolutely brilliant. They’re out volunteering on Saturday mornings, doing coaching sessions. There are a lot of very good people out there and the more, the merrier.”

Special Olympics Ireland’s annual collection day, sponsored by eircom, takes place today, Friday 11 April. You can donate any spare change at one of the 1000 collection points or by texting Special to 50300 to donate €2.

Seamus Coleman: ‘I don’t think you can ever stop improving’

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