independent

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Hero Gary leads Ireland to bronze football medal

Mary Fogarty

Bray's own Gary 'Messi' Messett has captained the Irish cerebral palsy football team to third place in the European Championships held in the Netherlands.

This comes just two months after Gary lost his dad Bobby in a tragic shooting at Bray Boxing Club.

Also in the squad were Arklow's Darragh Snell, and fellow Bray men Ryan Nolan and Sam Carroll.

Gary now lives in Wexford with his partner and their baby.

The FAI congratulated the team, and goal-scorers Messett and Aaron Tier, with their 2-1 victory over the host nation securing them the third place finish.

Before the tournament, Gary said: 'I lost my father a month-and-a-half ago. All my family are coming over to support me, though. To be able to captain the team will be a great honour. I'm hoping to do the best I can for my team, my family and my friends.'

This was the 13th foreign tournament for the Bray man in a green jersey. He joined the squad in 2004 at the age of 16.

'I remember what it was like being a young boy going away from family for a month,' Gary told this newspaper before heading out.

'I had other people to look up to at the time and now it's nice for me after the career that I've had that I can be captain and reverse the roles.'

The squad came third in 2010, with Gary receiving the player of the tournament that year.

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