Starry eyes as Robbie comes home to Crumlin
HE might be an international soccer star but Robbie Keane is first and foremost a dad at heart.
By the way he tenderly checked on Laura Crossan (9) from Co Monaghan, a young patient from Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, as they posed for photographs out in the garden, asking if she was cold on a chilly day, that was clear.
The LA Galaxy captain was delighted to be back on home turf, especially for this particular reason - as he proudly handed over a cheque for over €44,000 to the hospital on behalf of the LA Galaxy Foundation and their sponsor, Herbalife.
"It's just a start," as Robbie firmly pointed out yesterday.
The money has not been earmarked for anything in particular and will be used for "capital projects," said a hospital spokesperson.
Robbie is also an ambassador for CMRF Crumlin's current lenten campaign 'Give It Up for Crumlin', revealing he intends to give up chocolate.
While in Crumlin, Robbie showed LA Galaxy coach, Pat Noonan the little lane where he would take a short cut to the football pitch, "jumping over a gate to save 15 minutes."
"Looking at that you still get that little feeling in your stomach of when you were that little kid trying to make it to go to England," he said.
He loves LA life and has no plans to come home any time soon - but there was a definite mist in Robbie's eye on an official visit to Aras an Uachtarain later in the day as he noted that this was the first American team to ever visit the house.
The 45 strong squad of LA Galaxy team member was each respectfully introduced by Keane to soccer-loving President Michael D Higgins.
The President paid tribute to Keane's record of 65 international goals for Ireland, saying: "That's three times more than any other Irish player."
He then quickly noted: "That's a tribute to Robbie and not a comment on the other players."