Damien Duff rescheduled son's heart operation so he could play for Ireland against Armenia 4 years ago

Damien Duff rescheduled son's heart operation so he could play for Ireland against Armenia

Damien Duff's family convinced him to re-schedule a heart operation for his son to a week later so he wouldn't miss a vital Euro qualifier against Armenia.

In a week where loyalty in playing for your country has been questioned, it has been revealed that Duff went above and beyond the call of duty for Ireland. The Duffer and his wife were made aware that their son, Woody, would have a hole in his heart that would require surgery as soon as he was six months old. The news came after a scan on his pregnant wife.

Republic of Ireland's Damien Duff (R) vi

Co-incidentally, the date that he was pencilled in for the operation happened to clash with a vital European Championship qualifier for Ireland against Armenia. Duff initially didn't want to change the date, but his family convinced him to postpone it to a week later so that he could represent his country.

“They wanted him to be big and strong enough so we had to wait, but the minute he was six months he was booked in. The problem then was that he was actually booked in the day we played Armenia,” Duff said.

“That was a really hard time. I was saying: ‘I can’t change my son’s heart operation to play for Ireland.’ It just didn't sit right with me; I didn't want to mess with fate. I was thinking that if we put it back a week, it mightn't work the next week – it’s just the weird way the mind works – but my wife talked me around and we did it the week after.”

Thankfully, Woody is fine now and running around like any normal child of his age.