herald

Thursday 29 September 2016

'We're so proud of him' - Brady bunch party despite defeat

Robbie’s mum Marie (centre) parties with family and friends in Baldoyle. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Robbie’s mum Marie (centre) parties with family and friends in Baldoyle. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Robbie’s sister Nikki and nephew Ben (4) watching the game. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Robbie’s cousin Holly. Photo: Steve Humphreys

It was not the victory we had hoped for, but the party shows no signs of stopping in Robbie Brady's hometown of Baldoyle.

Despite the heartbreaking defeat at the hands of France, family, friends and neighbours were spilling out of the Racecourse Inn on Grange Road following the final whistle.

Robbie-induced euphoria hit fever pitch among fans in Lyon and further afield with his goal just two minutes into the game. None of that excitement showed any sign of abating in Robbie's old stomping ground after the loss.

Visibly emotional after the match, his sister Nikki described what had been a whirlwind day for her family.

screaming

"We were at home with some family and we were all screaming and jumping around," she told the Herald. "We couldn't believe it."

Surrounded by several generations of the Brady family in the bar, Nikki said the celebrations in Robbie's honour were only just beginning.

"We'll never stop celebrating. We're so proud of him," she said. "All of his life, we'll always admire him for what he's done."

Although Robbie is guaranteed a hero's welcome when he gets back from France, a taste of the veneration to come was saved for his delighted mum, Marie.

Arriving at the pub just minutes after the final whistle, she was greeted by hearty renditions of Mamma Mia and There's Only One Robbie Brady.

"I don't think we're realising what has happened and how much of a hero he is," she said. "We don't know how much it's going to go down in history yet."

glory

Speaking to the Herald, Maria said it was "100pc better" than the one-time glory days of Italia '90.

"Robbie is the type whose heart and soul is in it," she added. "From his heart to his soul to his feet, his whole body is in it."

Meanwhile, Shannon McCormick, a Baldoyle native and friend of Robbie, said: "We've never seen the pub this packed, because everyone's so proud.

"We're all here for him. The pub wouldn't be half as packed normally.

"Even before he scored the goal, the atmosphere here was amazing."

Shannon (25) said it had always been clear that Robbie would be a major soccer sensation.

But we can expect more from the Brady family in future, with Robbie's brother Liam considered to be a real prospect.

"This'll be Liam in a few years," she said. "He'll be next."

As the party continued with gusto, Louie Hogan from Baldoyle said it was now time to "get the champers on tap.

amazing

"His family being here is just amazing," she said. "They're local. It brings it back to reality, to see that all the Irish players are normal guys.

"He's a local legend. He has to be a hero," she added.

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