Friday 9 December 2016

Son's operation inspired Damien Duff's donation

John Fallon

Published 16/08/2015 | 02:30

Damien Duff has confirmed that his Shamrock Rovers wages will be donated to two charities
Damien Duff has confirmed that his Shamrock Rovers wages will be donated to two charities

Damien Duff has revealed that all his wages during his 18-month contract at Shamrock Rovers will be donated to two charities, Temple Street hospital and Heart Children Ireland.

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The 100-times capped Ireland winger confirmed the gesture yesterday, and that his decision stems from his four-year-old son, Woody, requiring heart surgery shortly after birth.

The 35-year-old's salary, believed to top €150,000 over the duration, will be paid directly from Shamrock Rovers club sponsors, Hyundai and Pepper Ireland. "Every penny I get is going to charity," said Duff. "I don't want a penny. I thought it'd be something nice to do because I just want to play football.

"The only thing I've taken from Rovers is the loan of a car through Hyundai until I sort my situation out. Otherwise, every penny I get - whether it be bonuses, incentives, appearance money or whatever - is all going to those two charities, 50/50.

"I've done a bit in the past with charities, including Heart Children Ireland, because of my son, and it was straightforward enough. I don't want to make a big story out of it. The charities are close to my heart. My son's operation took place in London, but the check-ups were here."

Duff, the winner of two Premier League titles with Chelsea, said the Hoops were always his preferred choice to finish his career. After returning to full fitness from an ankle injury, he's in line to make his debut against Cork City tomorrow night.

"St Patrick's Athletic were interested too, but joining Rovers was a no-brainer," said Duff, who has also taken up a coaching role with the club's under-15 squad. "It's the biggest club in Ireland and the manager, Pat Fenlon, doesn't take any crap, which is what I like. I still plan to be explosive and to take players on."

Duff also said the handling by his former manager, Jose Mourinho, of the Eva Carneiro controversy had taken him aback. "I'm a bit surprised the way it's been carried out," he added. "I don't think he has come out of this in the greatest light. But he's never usually far off the mark, so maybe there's something going on behind closed doors. That would be the thing I'm looking at."

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