| 13.8°C Dublin

Dad is a football hero who scored FAI final winner

Close

Ellen’s parents John and Deirdre Glynn

Ellen’s parents John and Deirdre Glynn

Ellen’s parents John and Deirdre Glynn

The dad of miracle teenager Ellen Glynn, who survived 15 hours stranded in the open sea, is a fromer Irish soccer star.

Johnny Glynn, who spoke to the Herald of his joy at his daughter's and niece's stunning rescue, is himself a hero to many in Galway.

In a football career spanning four decades Mr Glynn has played and coached at a top level in Ireland and came within seconds of making his international debut under Jack Charlton.

Mr Glynn signed for Galway United in 1984.

Scorer

Having garnered attention nationally and internationally, he earned a soccer scholarship to Boston University. On return, Johnny joined Shamrock Rovers, debuting as a substitute in 1987's League Cup Final defeat to Dundalk.

From there he joined Sligo Rovers, and again became leading scorer, but knee complications disrupted the following 18 months.

He returned to his native city and famously scored a late winner in Galway's 1991's historic 1-0 FAI Cup Final victory over Shamrock Rovers.

While on holidays in America that summer, he came within seconds of pulling on his boots for Ireland.

In an interview with the Galway Advertiser, he said he met the Irish squad on his flight.

"I met Packie Bonner on the plane and he told me where they were staying in Boston.

"The following day I took my sister Lynda to the hotel hoping to meet the players. In the foyer I met Peter Byrne from The Irish Times who was over to cover the game.

"He told me Jack was at our FAI Cup final win and as we were speaking, the team arrived in from a training session.

"Peter called Jack over and introduced me. Jack asked "if I had my boots with me".

He trained with the squad the following day before heading to the stadium.

He said: "Ireland led 1-0 and I was going through a warm-up routine when the USA equalised. I didn't get to play, and so did not get an Irish cap, but I was grateful for the opportunity."

Today, Mr Glynn is Galway United's U-19 manager, and is held in high regard by the soccer community of Galway.