Best 'happy birthday' FAI boss has ever had!
'If we had Katie Kelly playing with us we might have beaten Denmark!' - John Delaney
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney and his fiancee Emma Kelvin were special guests at St Ita's Special School last Friday - and the footballing boss was left speechless at an extraordinary welcome.
He celebrated his 50th birthday recently and the crew at the family-orientated school didn't forget, the entire school body joining in a rousing chorus of 'Happy Birthday' and then presenting him with a cake!
John even got the gift that all birthday boys and girls receive on their big day - a Mars bar from principal Michael Moley.
He had his own present as well for the school - signed jerseys for a raffle and a special one for the school.
John and Emma were invited to the school as a thank you for John and the FAI's kindness in organising tickets for Ireland games.
Mary Reynolds, a keen Drogheda United fan, first met John at a club function some years ago and the bond with the school, where she assists the students, has remained since.
John got to see the enormous work that goes on at the facility and was greatly impressed with the staff, students and the ethos that has been developed on Congress Avenue.
Mr Moley revealed that St Ita's were All-Ireland champions for the past three years in the soccer world.
'I have had 'Happy Birthday' sung to me a few times but that was really special and something I will never forget,' he stated.
He was in attendance for the weekly roll call of honours for best students and one of the winners was Katie Kelly, who happens to be a good soccer player too.
'If we had Katie playing with us we might have beaten Denmark,' he exclaimed.
He said he could see that the school was driven with passion for the students and he could sense the dedication of the staff after just 30 minutes in the place.
'After winning three All-Ireland's in a row, you must be the best school I've been in in 10 years,' he added. He urged the students to do their very best in all they did.
He then went on a walkabout of the school after being treated to a Mexican wave and a bit of a dance with excited students.