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A touching tribute to late Limerick boxer Kevin Sheehy and the week's best sportswriting

Plus, a heartwarming World Cup story and a family affair with the Hendersons.
Jul 14th 2019, 8:31 AM 4,039 0

1. Stephen Henderson: Dave always had a great sense of humour but you had to understand it. He’d joke about death but it was a defence mechanism. If you got down, you were done.

Dave Henderson: I saw a mate today who was also in the service and he had all the cycling gear and I shouted over at him. ‘How’d you recognise me?’ You’re still breathing, I says. But there’s life too. I delivered my only baby on the morning of a match in Kilkenny, Dad drove me down. All through the match I never saw a ball, only a baby’s head. ‘Eight centimetres, keep pushing.’ It was an amazing thing. And I didn’t drop it!

Angela Henderson: The thoughts of them carrying me in a coffin would kill me! They’d probably drop me. They did alright with their da though.

The first family of Irish goalkeeping, the Hendersons, reflect on a lifetime of looking after number ones with David Kelly for the Irish Independent.

sheehy Late Limerick boxer Kevin Sheehy. Source: Inpho.

2. Kevin Sheehy, unbeknownst to himself, was starting to embody this culture at the club. Having won two national Under 22 championships, and with his profile rising, he had become a figurehead, says Moore, by the power of his example. He would train twice a day, he had the natural authority that comes with being a powerful heavyweight, and youngsters warmed to him. He had charisma and he was decent – he was sound.

“He was the heart of the club for the last two years. Everyone liked him, the kids, the lads he trained with – fellas who were older than him looked up to him, you know that sorta way? And he never recognised that. He’d come in that door and the kids would be training on the bags and as he was passing he’d give them a tip on the back, ‘Keep it going,’ something small like that. Or if someone new was starting I’d say it and Kev would (have a word). And he never copped it: those few words as he walked from that door to here meant a terrible lot to those kids.”

Yesterday morning some of those kids formed part of the St Francis guard of honour that accompanied his coffin from church to cemetery. Ken Moore was at a loss last week as to how they would come to terms with the tragedy.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it, none of us do. There’s a big void left here now and I’m not too sure how we’re going to fill it. But the club has been around for 91 years, you’ll have kids walking up every day, someone has to be there for them, someone has to open the door.”

Tommy Conlon penned a touching tribute to late boxer Kevin Sheehy with input from his friend and mentor Ken Moore.

USA v Netherlands - FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - Final - Stade de Lyon USA's World Cup heroes Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. Source: John Walton

3. When myself and Leanne met, I didn’t work in sport – but I watched it on TV non-stop, supported it any chance I’d get, and played it a lot. About a fortnight after our first date, I was playing in a county championship final. She came to support us. We lost. I was like a demon for days afterwards. Soon after that, Dublin won their first All Ireland in 16 years. I spontaneously cried for days afterwards. She saw very early on how much sport means to me. She jokes now that I told her at the time “sport isn’t everything, though…”

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But sport IS everything to me. 

RTÉ’s Elaine Buckley, on her blog The Sideline View, wrote a heartwarming story about the Women’s World Cup, and her wife, Leanne.

4. Learning how to straddle the divide between team-mate and manager is just one of the challenges that now awaits Vincent Kompany following his return to formative club Anderlecht as player-manager.

The player-manager has become an increasingly rare creature in modern football, and should Kompany pause to consider how some of his contemporaries have fared in the role, the former Manchester City captain could be forgiven for having second thoughts.

In Exclusive Kompany: The Weird, Wired World of Life as a Player-Manager,’ by Tom Williams for Bleachers Report.

Australia v England - ICC World Cup - Semi Final - Edgbaston Eoin Morgan. Source: Nick Potts

5. If the England captain gets to lift the ICC World Cup trophy above his head on Sunday evening, cricketers all over north Dublin will nod their heads sagely and mutter ‘I told you so.’

Eoin Morgan’s rise to the pinnacle of the game has appeared almost inevitable since he first buckled on pads at Kenure Park, Rush one summer in the early 1990s. “From an early age he showed signs of great talent, and the combativeness he needed to make it as a cricketer,” recalls Matt Sheridan Matt Sheridan, former president of the club where he played until he was 11.

That talent, and combativeness, has carried him through an international career that has occupied half his 32 years. Now, as he prepares for the biggest game of his life, the spotlight is coming on the Irishman leading England into their first final since 1992.

The Irish Times’ Ger Siggins traces the rise of Eoin Morgan, the Irishman leading England into the World Cup final.

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