Monday 14 October 2019

Greatest warrior: Thousands donate to GAA star's cancer fund

Legend: Kieran O’Connor was praised for his on-pitch displays – now he needs the help of his fans. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Legend: Kieran O’Connor was praised for his on-pitch displays – now he needs the help of his fans. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

More than €200,000 has been raised in just three days for Cork All-Ireland winner Kieran O'Connor, who is suffering from a rare form of bone cancer for the third time in just 18 months.

Father-of-three O'Connor (39), who was a member of the Cork squad that won the All-Ireland title in 2010, was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in October 2017 after he raised concerns about a throbbing pain in his ankle.

Thousands of people have donated to the Corkman's cause so far to help his young family with living and medical expenses.

O'Connor first underwent surgery and chemotherapy in 2018.

But recently the disease has spread and he had his lower leg amputated in January.

While recovering from the serious operation, he began to experience back pains and last week his family were devastated to find out his cancer has spread.

"For years and years, in hurling and football, when Aghada came under pressure we would send for our greatest warrior to help us," his local GAA club wrote online.

"Kieran is under pressure, he is facing a b*****d of an opponent and this time he needs Aghada's help."

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The corner back enjoyed a strong inter-county career, starting in the 2007 and 2009 All-Ireland finals for Cork, and winning three Munster titles and two National Leagues.

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