Monday 21 April 2014

Oran scores world's first TV interview with billionaire Chelsea boss

Football-mad Oran Tully pictured at his home in Skerries, Co Dublin after he visited Stanford Bridge and met the Chelsea Football team.
Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Football-mad Oran Tully pictured at his home in Skerries, Co Dublin after he visited Stanford Bridge and met the Chelsea Football team. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

A YOUNG football fan has achieved what no sports reporter has ever managed -- to get Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich to speak on camera.

Oran Tully (14), from Skerries, north Dublin, recently travelled to Chelsea's home at Stamford Bridge as part of a special series filmed by Sky Sports.

The teenager, who was born with a small bladder which has resulted in life threatening bowel failure, got to meet his hero John Terry, the Chelsea captain.

And he managed to get the Russian magnate to speak on camera for the first time.

"Words can't describe it," he told the Irish Independent yesterday of his experience with the team.

"He (Abramovich) actually came over to us. We got a picture and then I asked him about his favourite moment in charge of Chelsea.


"He said it was the Champions League final in 2012 when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich."

Oran's father Martin said even Sky Sports reporter Andy Burton was stunned that the teenager managed to get the Russian boss to speak on camera for the first time in his 10 years with the club.

"We didn't realise it was the first time he spoke on camera. Andy was amazed, it had never happened," said Oran, who added that the presenter was "mad jealous".

Even John Terry was impressed by the teenager's interviewing skills.

"I've heard you even got a word with Roman," he said. "That's the first time ever," he added before giving him a shirt he had worn on the pitch.

Oran also got the autograph of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who told him the best moment of his career was when he won the Champions League with Inter Milan.

Oran took part in My Special Day after his father nominated him.

He spent a day at Stamford Bridge, even getting to play on the pitch. He also went shopping in the Chelsea store where Terry helped him pick out some gifts for his friends.

Mum Clare said he first fell ill at the age of eight weeks when he was brought to hospital with meningitis.

It was when he was in hospital that they discovered he had a small bladder.

When he was nine, he underwent surgery, but this resulted in life-threatening bowel failure.

"My scariest day was when the doctor said 'All we can do is just pray'," recalled Clare.

Oran was confined to a wheelchair for 18 months, but is now back on his feet -- and playing football for Skerries FC.

"If I didn't have football, there would be no me," he said.

His family said the Chelsea games had "pulled him through all the many low points" of his illness.

He still can't eat solid foods and has to be fed overnight via a drip, but his health is significantly better.

Oran said he dreams of having a football career, but failing that he would be happy to coach Chelsea.

"He's a credit to himself and for still being here," said Terry. "And his knowledge of the football club is incredible."

Irish Independent

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