Saturday 29 October 2016

'I just kind of broke down', says dad of Dubs hero Cooper

Jonny Cooper of Dublin celebrates with the Sam Maguire cup and his father Brendan after the final. Photo: Sportsfile
Jonny Cooper of Dublin celebrates with the Sam Maguire cup and his father Brendan after the final. Photo: Sportsfile

Dublin hero Jonny Cooper's dad admitted the emotions of celebrating an All-Ireland win with his son got the better of him at the weekend.

A very teary Brendan Cooper was captured embracing the star defender and the Sam Maguire after the Dubs beat Mayo in what was the iconic photograph of the day at Croke Park.

Despite saying he would not usually get too emotional in these situations, Brendan explained that Saturday night was an exception.

Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTE Radio One's Liveline, he said: "It was a very surreal moment in the sense that I was personally fine, I was happy, I was thrilled for him and within a millisecond, things just changed and I lost it altogether," he said.

"It was such a touching moment. All I wanted to say to him was 'well done, are you okay?' and it just kind of took wings from there at that stage.

The Herald’s banner in the city
The Herald’s banner in the city

"Emotions came over me and I wouldn't be the most demonstrative person but at that moment I just lost it.

"I just kind of broke down, for want of a better word," he added.

Much was made of the embrace being extra-special because of the turnaround in Cooper's life since he was injured in a stabbing attack on Dorset Street in September 2014. The defender has gone on to win two All-Ireland titles in a row since the incident.

However, Brendan explained that the attack has never been talked about in the family home since.

"That was one incident in his life that he wanted to put behind him almost from the word go," he said.

"He didn't want it to let it affect his playing career.


"With the exception of the day, and the day after that, we've never actually spoken about the incident."

However, Brendan made sure to commend a taxi driver who came to the rescue of his son and called an ambulance at the scene.

"We couldn't have asked for more and he did what any common, decent person would do."

Meanwhile, the Herald has ramped up its support for the Boys in Blue in Dublin city centre with a banner on Gardiner Street bridge echoing the thoughts of all true blue fans - that Sam Maguire can stay in the capital for as long as it likes.

"Make Yourself at Home Sam," the banner reads.

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