Saturday 10 December 2016

National kit stolen from Ireland’s team of football-playing doctors just days before world championship

Jane O'Faherty

Published 29/06/2016 | 22:14

Ireland’s team of football-playing doctors.
Ireland’s team of football-playing doctors.

The national kit of Ireland’s team of football-playing doctors has been stolen just days before the team is due to depart for a prestigious world championship.

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Gardai are investigating the theft of the items, which was worth €2,300.

The jerseys were stolen from the boot of a player’s car when it was parked on St Columba’s Road, Drumcondra.

The team now face a last-minute scramble to find or replace the stolen kit before departing for the competition in Barcelona on July 8.

The World Medical Football Championships are held every year, and the caveat is that all players are doctors, and must produce their passports and even their medical degrees to be allowed to compete.

Tommy Fitzgerald, a GP and the team’s spokesperson, expressed his shock at the crime.

“It’s a real nightmare for the team that we are now left in a situation where we are heading off to this great tournament to represent Ireland and may not have appropriate kit for the occasion,” he said.

“It was a real honour to be involved previously and a huge part of the honour was certainly standing proudly as a team in the Irish jersey and belting out Amhrán na bhFiann.”

While most of Ireland’s side hail from Dublin, Waterford, Donegal, Cork and Offal, other team members are from Portland, USA and Vancouver, Canada.

Their ages range from 27 to 61.

However, he added the team would “represent Ireland with passion and energy, even if we have to play in the white coats.”

Meanwhile, Tom Finn of Affidea, the team’s sponsors, said his company was “coming to terms” with the loss of the kit.

“This is a huge blow to the team and certainly does not assist them in their preparation for the event,” he said.

“Whilst we are appealing to the public to assist the Gardaí with their investigation, Affidea will do everything in its power to ensure that the team leaves Dublin airport with a complete kit in tow.”

In 2015, Ireland finished seventh in the Medical Football Championships, reaching the quarter finals and beating Great Britain.

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