Friday 15 December 2017

Darren Gleeson shows true class to help future hurling stars days after Galway defeat

Darren Gleeson with some future stars
Darren Gleeson with some future stars

Michael Verney

Tipperary goalkeeper Darren Gleeson put the heartbreak of Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final defeat to the back of his mind to help pass the hurling gospel onto Offaly's future stars last night.

The 2014 All Star pulled off a string of magnificent saves in Croke Park against Galway but he traded Dublin for Drumcullen GAA Club as he crossed the border to aid his neighbours.

Gleeson spent nearly two and a half hours with the Drumcullen Under-6, Under-8 and Under-10 teams as he saved shots, got photos taken, signed autographs and provided words of wisdom to the young Faithful hurlers.

"We honestly didn't expect Darren to come down after Sunday's defeat but it just shows you what the GAA means to him. He was clearly disappointed but he put on a brave face, had a fresh smile and was absolutely brilliant with the kids," chairman Tony Ryan said.

"He spent so long with the kids and signed everything anybody wanted signed. He was swamped by people but he was a real professional and didn't disappoint anyone.

He wouldn't hear of taking anything for the trip and was just delighted he could help out."

The Portroe shot stopper, known for his pinpoint puckouts, was accompanied by the Cul Heroes' mascots and his signature was in high demand on the new GAA trading cards.

"After the Munster Final Darren said he signed cards for an hour along with his team mates and all of the Waterford lads. These cards have taken on a life of their own and they mean so much to kids," Ray Bell of Cul Heroes said.

"They're so collectable when they're signed. Players are even debating their scores amongst each other and everyone has a different opinion which is great."

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