Baby boy joy: Dundalk star Michael Duffy watched the match 'while I gave her gas and air'
The soccer player who missed Dundalk FC's win over Riga to be at the birth of his first baby has described it as "a day I'll never forget".
Winger Michael Duffy (24) had to pull out of the game, which saw his side win 5-4 in a penalty shootout in their Champions League qualifier.
But he said it was all worth it to be at the birth of his new baby boy.
He was waiting at the boarding gate at Dublin Airport on Monday morning when he got the call from his partner Emily McCarron (23) that she was being kept in hospital.
"I knew there was a risk that I was going to have to do a U-turn from the airport but she wasn't due for another week," he said.
"Then I got the call from the hospital to say that they were going to keep her in and induce her. It was a big baby and her blood pressure was high so they thought it was better to keep her in. She was panicking big-time so I told her I'd be up there as soon as I could."
The pair had a tense two days as hospital staff tried to bring on her labour by induction. The decision was finally made to book her in for a C-section at about 7pm on Wednesday, just as the match was in full swing.
"I was trying to watch the match while I was giving her gas and air. I had the volume all the way up. I'm surprised she didn't pick up the phone and launch it across the room," he said.
Their baby boy Eli Michael was born at around 7.30pm, which Michael said was "the best feeling ever". It gave him just enough time to check the match and see it had gone to penalties as he watched his side win the shootout 5-4.