Saturday 1 October 2016

Family's 'surprise of a lifetime' as son greets them in Munster Rugby dressing room after five years abroad

David Kearns

Published 28/12/2015 | 07:08

Lifelong Munster Rugby supporter Thomas Kellegher pictured with his family and friends in Thomond Park Credit: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Lifelong Munster Rugby supporter Thomas Kellegher pictured with his family and friends in Thomond Park Credit: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Credit: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

As families around the world arrive home for the festive season, one lucky rugby fan was given the chance to surprise his loved ones with a very special Christmas present after more than five years away.

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A lifelong Munster fan Thomas Kellegher, from Ballylongford in County Kerry, has been living in Brisbane since 2010 and was unable to come home this Christmas.

Or so his family thought.

Thomas’ step dad entered a Life Style Sports competition to send a Munster jersey along with a personalised message from the team to his son.

Unbeknownst to him however, his heartfelt entry would lead to a surprise like no other.

Rather than just send the jersey, Life Style Sports got in touch with Thomas and set about flying him home from Australia just in time from yesterday Munster vs Leinster clash in Thomond Park.

Thomas was the overall winner in the Life Style Sports International Delivery Service competition that saw him flown home as a surprise visit from Australia for Christmas Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Thomas was the overall winner in the Life Style Sports International Delivery Service competition that saw him flown home as a surprise visit from Australia for Christmas Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

To the complete surprise of his family, he was reunited with them in the Munster Rugby dressing room.

“We are so thrilled to have Thomas home for the holidays. On his last trip home we went shopping and he bought a Munster jersey, something he wears with great pride now in Australia,” said Mr Kellegher (Snr).

“All we wanted was to get him a new jersey but to have him arrive home was the surprise of a lifetime.”

Thomas added: “To come home and surprise my family in Thomond Park is just the stuff of dreams.

Lifelong Munster Rugby supporter Thomas Kellegher pictured with his family and friends in Thomond Park Credit: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Lifelong Munster Rugby supporter Thomas Kellegher pictured with his family and friends in Thomond Park Credit: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“Thanks to everyone at Munster Rugby and Life Style Sports for making this a Christmas holiday we’ll never forget.”

Having sent rugby jerseys to over 200 countries this Christmas, as part of their international delivery service, Life Style Sports said it was “delighted” to be able to bring Thomas home for Christmas.

Debbie Byrne, Marketing Director at Life Style Sports said: “We decided to flip our international delivery service on its head and rather than sending Munster Rugby shirts abroad we decided to bring one of their devoted supporters home from Australia.”

“The 16th man is not just about the fans in the stadium, it’s about all the supporters, no matter where they are in the world.  It’s what makes Munster so special.”

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