Sunday 25 February 2018

BOD the bus driver: Temple Street kids offer Brian retirement advice

Kirsty Blake Knox and Joyce Fegan

The children of Temple Street Hospital believe Brian O'Driscoll will make an excellent bus driver, fashion model or President of Ireland when he retires.

In a heart-touching video tribute to the rugby legend, who has supported Temple Street Children's University Hospital since the start of his rugby career, the patients wished Ireland's No 13 all the best in the future and thanked him for all he has done.

"He came into visit me the day after my kidney transplant," said Michaela Morley, who has a very special bond with the rugby star. A photo of the pair holding the 2008 Heineken Cup caused quite a stir and they have remained firm friends.

"He's going to be a fashion model because he's so handsome but don't tell Amy I said that," giggled Michaela, when asked what the Irish centre will get up to when he hangs up his boots.

Meanwhile, Ben Kelly attributes BOD's success to his diet of "broccoli and carrots." The video has gone viral with 'The Late Late Show' requesting a copy and it will be aired at the Aviva Stadium today at half-time.

Another little girl who has a special place in O'Driscoll's heart is baby Grace Kavanagh, who spent 88 days in the intensive care unit, including last Christmas Eve. Both Brian and his wife Amy Huberman spent the evening by the baby's bedside supporting her family and mother, also called Amy.

Grace's parents said that the O'Driscolls made Christmas for them on what was the "worst night of their life."

Annette Small, who heads up communications in the hospital's fundraising office, came up with the idea.

"We were thinking for ages and ages of a way to say thank you to him after all he has done for the hospital and the children," explained Ms Small.

O'Driscoll donated half of his testimonial money (€650,000) to the hospital, allowing a ward to be renovated, and visits the children regularly.

While the children in Temple Street have plans for BOD post-rugby, it looks like the Irish sporting hero and his wife will head to Hollywood.

Huberman spent several weeks in America last month meeting with producers and agents to discuss potential film and TV projects.


According to O'Driscoll's father, Frank, the couple are considering a move abroad to facilitate Huberman's acting career. "Amy's career could take them abroad, so the future is bright for him and he's optimistic," he said.

Huberman is no stranger to LA. In 2012 the 34-year-old actress was cast in US pilot 'Animal Practise' before being unceremoniously dropped by the producers. Despite this, she is still keen to work in Hollywood and says O'Driscoll's retirement will give her the freedom to do so.

"It means we can travel more," she told the Irish Independent. "When I shot the last pilot in LA, I remember thinking 'God, I'll be over here and he'll be there' so it gives us more freedom."

Tributes have been pouring in all week for Leinster, Ireland and Lions star O'Driscoll.

To mark the landmark match, O'Driscoll will wear commemorative boots with the letters 'A&S' – a tribute to his wife Amy and daughter Sadie – emblazoned on them. The boots also include the words 'Ad Astra', which is Latin for 'to the stars' – the wording on his club UCD's crest.

Irish Independent

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