Monday 20 February 2017

Football's first ladies

Published 25/06/2016 | 02:30

Queen of the Irish WAGs: Claudine Keane.
Queen of the Irish WAGs: Claudine Keane.
Robbie and Claudine Keane
Irish International James McClean and partner Erin O'Connor. (North West Newspix)
Seamie Coleman and Rachel Cunningham
Kayleah and Shane Long
Shay Given and fiancee Becky Gibson with baby Gracie

Vicki Notaro gives the lowdown on the girls behind the Boys in Green

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Claudine Keane  (née Palmer)


The Queen of the Irish WAGs, Euro 2016 will be Claudine's swansong on the sidelines as her husband is set to retire before the next big tournament. Married to striker and captain Robbie since 2008, and together since they were teens, Claudine (32) is undeniably the most powerful of the Ireland squad's wives and girlfriends. She has a degree in economics and finance, but has earned her crust modelling lingerie thanks to her polished blonde looks. Now resident in Los Angeles with Robbie, she's mother to Robert Jr (7) and baby Hudson, eight months.

Rachel Coleman (née Cunningham)


Donegal native Rachel married Seamus Coleman last summer in a family-oriented ceremony in Killybegs, mere miles from where they both grew up and met at school. Only 27, she's been with the Everton defender for 12 years, and gave birth to their daughter Lilly back in February. Rachel's cousin is eccentric hotelier and TV personality Noel Cunningham, but she seems to be a little more private than the other WAGs, with her social media presence largely on lockdown.

Kayleah Long (née Adams)


The wife of striker Shane since 2013, model Kayleah hails from Reading in England. She's mum to six-year-old Teigan and Erin (2) with another bundle of joy due to arrive in November. The gorgeous brunette isn't one to shy away from social media and has active (and open) Twitter and Instagram accounts where she waxes lyrical about her husband and children. And despite being English and living there with her family, Kayleah says that she and her parents are now true supporters of the boys in green.

Becky Gibson


Soon after Irish goalie Shay Given split from his wife of 12 years, he started dating nightclub PR professional Becky. Now the mother to Shay's third child Grace, seven months, the couple are engaged to be married. A former girlfriend of English soccer player Nicky Hunt, Becky and Shay apparently met when she worked for a Manchester nightclub popular with local footballers. She's currently in France with Given's family and her daughter, supporting the Irish squad.

Erin McClean (née Connor)


She only tied the knot with West Brom midfielder James last month, but Erin has been with the 27-year-old for six years and is mother to his two children, Allie Mae (2) and nine-month-old James Junior. A nursing graduate, the pair met in a Derry nightclub in 2010 but their honeymoon seems to be on hold until after the tournament. Outspoken on Twitter, Erin has been vocal in her support for the Republic and after the Italy match said "never in my life have I been prouder to be Irish".

Irish Independent

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