Sunday 4 December 2016

Lifelong Mayo fan (86) still hoping for replay ticket as wheelchair-bound husband forced to cheer from home

Jimmy is holding out hope his wife might secure a ticket having missed only one game since 1952

Published 04/09/2015 | 13:02

An elderly woman who is a lifelong Mayo fan is dreaming of getting one single ticket to the Mayo Dublin replay - as her husband would be too sick to attend alongside her.

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Joan Rush (86) and her husband Jimmy have been lifelong fans of the GAA. A proud Mayo woman, Joan has attended matches back as far as 1951, the last year Mayo claimed the Sam Maguire.

Joan told Independent.ie that she's missed one match. "My husband has a serious lung disease.. he used to come with me but he can't anymore. That's why I'm only looking for one ticket!"

Jimmy is wheelchair-bound and relies on an oxygen tank but will be watching the match at home. "If you want to hear roaring and shouting, come up here on Saturday evening".

Speaking to Independent.ie, Jimmy said: "I would give my right arm to be there - but I'd have to go in a box".

The picture (above) is a 'treasured' photo of the couple.

"It's an iconic photograph for me", Jimmy said, "I treasure it".

"I came out of hospital that day at one pm after three weeks... had a shower and was in Croke Park by half four".

"Brian Cody and Mickey Harte... they were guests that day. We got a picture taken with them".

The couple hail from Botharnasup in Ballina but moved to Dublin so Jimmy could be near the Mater hospital.

Joan explained that he needs to be there within forty minutes when he takes a turn.

Jimmy was the founding secretary of Knockmore GAA and was recently presented with a trophy for fifty years of involvement with the club.

Jimmy suffers from Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which has no cure, but as he told Independent.ie: "I'm not going to let that stop me".

Neighbours of the couple have pitched in to help Joan by posting notices around the town begging for spare tickets but have had no success.

Local Dimpy Sharma told Independent.ie that Joan is 'an amazing beautiful lady inside out and out' and that the couple are 'amazing', despite Jimmy's condition. "I'm so thankful I know and am friends with them".

UPDATE: 'You're not serious? I'm thrilled!' - Mayo GAA come up trumps for lifelong Mayo fan(86) to attend semi-final replay

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