Boxing hero goes distance on school run
THE country's newly crowned European boxing champ is back at home recovering from his latest fight by doing the school run with his children.
Willie 'Big Bang' Casey (28), who comes from a large Traveller family in Limerick, said he is recuperating from his victory in the ring last weekend with his four children and wife in O'Malley Park, Southill.
"I'm recovering slowly. I was away training the last eight weeks in Dublin and Greystones, so it is good to be home with everyone," he said.
"I have four kids: Myles (9), Willie (5), Terry (4) and Ellie May (18 months), and I'm back doing the school runs now -- the normal stuff. They are great for helping me keep my feet on the ground.
"My wife Mary was very good with our children while I was away. They can be a handful at times, but she copes well. I'm just glad to be at home now after all the training," the southpaw boxer said.
Willie has 15 brothers and six sisters, aged from 12 to 39.
Since capturing the EBU super bantamweight title he has been inundated with congratulations and well wishers at his home.
"All the neighbours and friends have been calling. They are all coming to see the belt and have their photo taken.
"I was amazed with the support I got from them beforehand. They said prayers, had Masses arranged and gave me loads of holy cards and holy bracelets from Lourdes and Knock," he added.
Just two years into his professional career, Willie won the coveted boxing title in only his 11th fight.
"I suppose in one way I was representing the people and community here in Southill and I am very proud of that. I was determined to do well and show others that you can do well if you try hard enough," he said.
Limerick mayor Maria Byrne confirmed that 'Big Bang' will be honoured with a civic reception next week.
"He has brought great honour to his own family and community and the fact that he won the title here in Limerick makes it all the better," Ms Byrne said.