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20th Feb 2024

Andy Farrell reveals his favourite football team as Irish superfan visits camp

Patrick McCarry

“He touched everyone’s hearts.”

First we had Stevie Mulrooney tug our anthemic heart-strings with his ‘Ireland’s Call’ rendition, now we have the legendary Dáire Gorman making a special visit to Bundee Aki, Andy Farrell and all at the Ireland camp.

Gorman, from Monaghan, has the rare condition, known as Crommelin Syndrome, and is a full-time wheelchair user. The 12-year-old first came to the attention of sports fans when his lovely reaction to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, from his place in the Anfield’s disabled section, went viral.

It led to Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp sending him a special message, then extending a personal invite to join him, and the Liverpool squad, at their training facilities in Kirkby. Gorman left such an impression on Klopp that he mentioned him during a Liverpool TV interview that confirmed he would be leaving the club, at the end of the season.

After finding out that sports-mad Dáire is a keen rugby fan, too, the IRFU reached out with another invitation for him and his family. Earlier today [Tuesday, February 20], he was the guest of honour at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre in Dublin. Ireland head coach Andy Farrell welcomed him into the team meeting, saying:

“Dáire touched everyone’s hearts when we saw him go to his beloved club, Liverpool. I can forgive you, actually, because I’m a Man City supporter!”

During his trip to Kirkby, Gorman got to meet the likes of Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah but was lost for words when his hero, Luis Diaz popped in to say hello and pose for some pictures.

Asked by Farrell ‘who is the Luis Diaz of the Irish rugby team’, the Monaghan youngster named Bundee Aki. The Connacht centre headed straight up to get in some snaps and share a few kind words before ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ played out in the meeting room.

“It means everything to me,” Gorman explained to the players as Andy Farrell praised the superfan for ‘the courage and positivity with how you live your life’.

The team around Andy Farrell’s men are doing some wonderful outreach work, these past few weeks, and that will continue when they host an open training session at Aviva Stadium on Thursday, February 29.


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