herald

Monday 18 December 2017

I've met my match of the day - FAI boss

FAI CHIEF John Delaney has revealed he spent a month trying to win the heart of his new love. The Football Association boss has opened up about dating model Emma English for the past four months.

The couple first met at the launch of the Strictly Come Dancing charity ball last year.

Ms English revealed she initially had no idea who he was. "Someone had to point him out to me in the bar. He was really approachable and he gave me his business card. He was very easy to talk to.

"Through emails and phone calls it grew from there. We connected. We are very compatible. We are both very easy-going. Conversation is easy, we could talk for hours on the phone about anything," she said.

However, Mr Delaney revealed that he spent a month trying to win the heart of Emma, who was afraid that a romance would jeopardise their friendship.

But she finally said yes after they had arranged to meet up one night in Dublin pub Doheny and Nesbitt's.

"She is as beautiful inside as she is out. She makes me a better person. We are very much in love. There is no question about that," Mr Delaney said.

Meanwhile, his partner revealed that he has a very soft centre.

"He's like a big teddy bear. He is exceptionally romantic. I often say it's the little things that matter to me and he does little things he wouldn't have done before.

"For example, he would get the hairdryer out of my bag for me and plug it in, and set it up when I am rushing to get ready and make me a cup of tea," Ms English said.

The couple went public with their romance over the weekend to quash any speculation.

"It's important to say that we are not promoting ourselves. The reason we are doing it is there is a lot of speculation and it was going to come out anyway," the FAI boss explained.

"Once it is out we can have our own privacy after that."

Originally, from County Tipperary, Mr Delaney has been at the helm of the FAI for ten years.

Meanwhile, businessman Denis O'Brien - who part funds the salaries of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane - said in an exclusive interview with indepdendent.ie: "John Delaney could run anything. He has run businesses successfully, diverse businesses, difficult businesses. So the FAI were fortunate that they were able to attract somebody of his calibre."

fdillon@herald.ie

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