Thursday 26 April 2018

Laois footballers go well beyond the call of duty with amazing heartwarming gesture for ill fan

The Laopis footballers with Dylan Steele today
The Laopis footballers with Dylan Steele today
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

The Laois footballers made a young fan's dreams come true today when they turned up at his house for a kick about in his garden.

Ten-year-old Dylan Steele is an avid GAA fan and is suffering from a rare life-threatening disease called duchenne Muscular dystrophy for which there is no cure.

Brave Dylan wore a smile all day when Ross Munnelly and members of the Laois panel arrived at his house for an exhibition game and a garden party to give young Dylan memories that will live with him forever.

"We rounded up as many as we could. We went down and played a bit of a match in the garden with him, his cousins and sister Kerri," Laois footballer Ross Munnelly told

"They had friends and neighbours there, tea and sandwiches and we had a small garden party. There were about 10 of the Laois lads involved and we were only too happy to help out. We gave him a few Championship jerseys and he was thrilled."

Ross' godson Billy, son of Laois' Billy Sheehan, stepped into his father's boots as he took part in today's friendly kick about and Dylan himself got involved as both a player and a referee.

Dylan's mother Paula and father Liam said they were overwhelmed by the gesture of the Laois players and thanked them for making Dylan "feel like one of the lads".

"We try to make his hopes and dreams come true and make the most of every day as we don't know what is around the corner," said Paula.

"Today his dream of meeting the Laois players and spend time with them and play ball with them came true and they all went above and beyond to make Dylan feel like one of the boys and I can't thank them enough.

"They all did the Laois team proud today and themselves. They have given us magical memories that will remain etched in our hearts and minds forever."

The Laois footballers also thanked the Steele family for organising the match and for their hospitality and refreshments.

"The Laois football players would like to thank Dylan Steele and his family from Barrowhouse, particularly his mum Paula, for inviting them to his house for a game of football and refreshments," read a post on the Laois Facebook page.

"Dylan followed in the boots of Maurice Deegan and Eddie Kinsella by refereeing the game. He wasn't afraid to dish out the cards either."

Munnelly added: "It was great to meet such a brave man and a great family. We look forward to seeing Dylan again."

Once again, the GAA community has shown how powerful it can be to make a young man's dream come true.

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