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12-year-old Cork City fan rewarded for using confirmation money to get to Cyprus

What a memento for young Connor O’Brien.

HIS TEAM DIDN’T manage to get the result he was hoping for, but Connor O’Brien is only likely to have fond memories of his trip to Cyprus to watch the second leg of Cork City’s Europa League second round qualifier against AEK Larnaca.

Having beaten the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders 1-0 at Turner’s Cross in last week’s first leg, Florian Taulemesse scored the only goal of the game last night at the AEK Arena to seal a 2-0 aggregate victory for the home side.

Sean Maguire with David Catala Cork City's Sean Maguire tussling with David Catala of AEK Larnaca during last night's Europa League game. Source: Sakis Savvides/INPHO

The game was also Sean Maguire’s last as a Cork City player. The striker, along with City left-back Kevin O’Connor, will now join English Championship club Preston North End after scoring 56 goals in all competitions during 18 months with the Leesiders.

Instead of holding onto the shirt he wore in his final game for the club, Maguire opted to reward one of the club’s most loyal supporters. While acknowledging the City fans who made the journey to Cyprus in the aftermath of the game, the 23-year-old picked out Connor O’Brien in the stand and handed over the prized garment.

Sean Maguire applauds the fans after playing his last game for the club Source: Philip Soteriou/INPHO

Sean Maguire applauds the fans after playing his last game for the club Source: Philip Soteriou/INPHO

Sean Maguire gives his jersey to a young fan after playing his last game for the club Source: Philip Soteriou/INPHO

Sean Maguire after playing his last game for the club Source: Philip Soteriou/INPHO

Connor, aged 12, used the money he made from his confirmation earlier this year to travel to the game in the company of his older brother Ryan. He’ll be returning to Cork with a particularly valuable item in his luggage.

“The youngfella never spends a penny of his money on anything other than Cork City,” Ryan told The42 this afternoon. “He keeps it all to go to games. I’d say he still has his communion money! Pity about the result but he’s absolutely delighted.”

Maguire has been idolised by young Cork City fans during his time with the club. In a recent interview with The42, the striker said he’s been overwhelmed by the support he has received since moving to Leeside after frustrating spell at Dundalk, during which he was unable to break into the team.

“Coming from the position I was in a year and a half ago, how could I not love it when the fans treat me like that? Cork City is their Barcelona and being a hero to so many of them is a great feeling,” Maguire said.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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