Saturday 16 December 2017

He'd better not do a McIlroy warns girlfriend of Dublin hero Brogan

Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan and girlfriend Leslie Walsh. Photo: John Dardis
Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan and girlfriend Leslie Walsh. Photo: John Dardis

NIAMH HORAN Entertainment News Reporter

He is untouchable on the pitch, his striking good looks have made him the unofficial poster boy of the GAA and now Dublin have won the All Ireland, Bernard Brogan is the name sweeping corporate boardrooms as the big-money sponsors start rolling in.

The talented forward confirmed this weekend he would be hiring an agent to deal with the offers following his team's dramatic win.

But he has been warned that the climate for sport stars is tougher than ever with Ireland's top names losing thousands of euro in sponsorship deals.

Speaking at the launch night of Hayley Rock's new VIP service, Concierge Dublin, the popular footballer was in jubilant form following the epic celebrations.

"There is a lot of demand coming in so we'll have to sit down with an agent and see the best people to talk to," he said.

"I don't have an agent yet so we've got to figure the best route to go from here. There have been a few people on with offers, but it's been such a manic week I haven't gotten back to anyone yet."

Since Pat Gilroy took over the Dublin team, Brogan has been his main man up front. He has been one of the best forwards in the country for several years and last year he won footballer of the year.

Dublin have also played all their league and championship games in Croke Park this year and have drawn huge support.

Brogan, who is currently sponsored by Red Bull, Addidas and Vodafone, was keen to point out the team effort that went into the win.

"The lads understand I'm a free taker and a scorer and obviously they're the ones who are targeted for most of the attention in any sport. They're the people who get most of the credit because they do the scoring but I am well aware that I'm just a link in the chain.

"We're all champions now and we all have that in our back pocket and no one can take it away from us. We all have Sam."

Long-term girlfriend Leslie Walsh has handled his newfound celebrity status well since the big win.

"He is mobbed but all you have to do is stand back and smile and give a little wink and it's all okay. He is good at knowing when he needs to come over to me," she laughed.

"But it's to be expected, that's what you sign up to.

"I don't mind the attention he gets anymore when we're out. It used to be tough when he first started off. I wasn't used to it. But at this stage of the game you just roll with the punches."

In reference to Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, who publicly dumped his long-term girlfriend, stunning model Holly Sweeney, and quickly found love with a tennis ace -- shortly after the biggest win of his career at the US Open, Leslie jokingly added: "He'd better not do a McIlroy on it. I'll kill him. I've been there the whole way along, sitting in watching DVDs on a Friday night before big games, making his breakfast before the matches."

Brogan, who works as an accountant when he is not kitting out for his team, added: "We've been together two years now but we were good pals a long time before that. I've my head screwed on. She's been there the whole way along."

Meanwhile, with Paddy Power offering odds on Bernard Brogan's next sponsors (5/2 Lucozade, 3/1 Kelloggs and 5/1 Gillette), a talent source described how tough it is to secure a lucrative deal.

"Because of the current climate a lot of players are losing out, and many aren't having their contracts renewed.

"For example, Ronan O'Gara's contract with Lucozade Sport finished earlier this year, and appearance fees and deals have dropped significantly.

"Everyone tipped cricketer Kevin O'Brien to make big money in sponsorship after the win over England -- but that never materialised. Things are a lot tougher now."

Sunday Independent

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