Saturday 21 July 2018

Irish mum who moved to Spain for love can't believe her luck in getting to see Leinster in European final

Leinster fans Lesley Ann Dobson and her daughter Naiara (7) from Dublin and now living in Bilbao, Spain ahead of todays Champions Cup final meeting with Racing 92.
Pic:Mark Condren
12.5.2018
Leinster fans Lesley Ann Dobson and her daughter Naiara (7) from Dublin and now living in Bilbao, Spain ahead of todays Champions Cup final meeting with Racing 92. Pic:Mark Condren 12.5.2018

Ryan Nugent

ONE Irish mother living in the Basque province couldn't believe her luck when Leinster reached the Champions Cup Final - having purchased tickets for the game months in advance.

Leslie-Anne Dobson from Drogheda was taking her daughter, Naiara (7) - who has been raised over here in a small town near San Sebastian - to her first game.

"I couldn't believe it, I bought the tickets not knowing and suddenly when I realised it was Leinster, I was like oh my God," she said.

"It's her first time going to a match and she's getting to go see a final, I can't believe it.

"She never lived in Ireland, never seen a rugby match," she added.

Asked how she ended up leaving Ireland, Leslie-Anne said love saw her make the move.

"I fell in love with a man who was working on Irish Rail in Drogheda and I came over for a year to see what would happen," she said.

"Home is about an hour and 10 minutes (from the stadium)," she added.

Elsewhere, as the atmosphere built up closer to kick-off, Ireland legend, Brian O'Driscoll was mobbed for photos from both Leinster and Racing 92 fans as he made his way into the San Mames Stadium.

The thousands of Leinster supporters were in a buoyant mood as the game approached.

Gary Brennan from Bray said it was his first European Cup Final.

"Our flight was at six this morning so it'll be a long day," he said.

His pal, Lauren Morris from Malahide is a season ticket holder for the past seven years.

The pair, in a big group, are staying in the nearby Santander.

"We booked the tickets the day after the Scarlets match," she said.

"We're going back at about midnight, we're getting picked up then. Hopefully we'll be out celebrating and then if things go well we'll go out in Santander when we get back," she added.

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