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Hero Shay thrills Jamie with gloves gift

GIVEN by name, giving by nature -- the generosity of Irish soccer hero Shay is heart-warming.

The Donegal man delighted a young Irish fan who suffers from a rare disease by handing over his goalie's gloves from Tuesday's night's play-off at the Aviva Stadium.

And he has now promised to give all of his appearance cash for Ireland to charity.

His dad Seamas revealed that Shay is far more interested in the pride of playing for his country than the money.

"Shay gives it all away to charity. It's not hard to give up because it's not a lot. It was (equivalent to) about €300 when he started out and it hasn't gone up much since.

"It's not something Shay's interested in. He only wants to play."

Shay made the dreams of Jamie Monaghan (12), from Drogheda, come true when he was the only disabled Irish fan allowed on to the pitch on Tuesday as Ireland qualified for Euro 2012.


Jamie suffers from the rare genetic condition Mosaic Trisomy 9, and cannot speak or walk.

His dad Phil explained to the Herald: "Shay came over to Jamie himself and he said 'here you are son' and he just handed the gloves to him.

"I'm going to get Shay to sign the gloves when he comes over again in February and then I'll frame it and hang it in his bedroom.

"Jamie is a real soccer fanatic, and the two of us have been to the Aviva 10 times at this stage to see soccer and rugby."

Mr Monaghan added: "Jamie was the only person in a wheelchair on the pitch. Shay was walking over and at first I thought he was going to take off his jersey and give it to him, but then he gave him the gloves, which is brilliant."

Jamie was also invited into the players' lounge in the Aviva and had his jersey signed.