Sunday 15 September 2019

WATCH: 'An outstanding tribute' - Monument to Anthony 'Axel' Foley unveiled in Limerick

'Anthony wouldn't have liked the fuss, but we're delighted as a family'

Jason Kennedy

A permanent monument to the late Munster rugby coach Anthony 'Axel' Foley has been unveiled in Limerick City this morning.

The two-metre memorial stone, located by the River Shannon on Clancy's strand, bears the imagine of Foley during his playing days charging forward with ball in hand.

The low-key event was attended by Foley’s wife Olive, sons Tony and Dan, father and mother Brendan and sisters Orla and Rose, who said she was thrilled with the sculpture.

"It's a beautiful location and an outstanding tribute to him," she said.

"Anthony wouldn't have liked the fuss or anything like that, but at the same time, we're delighted as a family.

We have been overwhelmed by all the kindnesses, including this. The outpouring is amazing, not just from the rugby community but the wider sporting community, supporters, people that we will never actually get to thank."

The monument is the latest rugby tribute in a city obsessed with the sport, according the Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon.

"This is a fanatical rugby city and county, with many heroes but they did not come bigger or prouder than Anthony Foley," the Fianna Fáil politician said.

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"Every rugby fan had their own special relationship with Anthony because he was that modest every day type of guy who just happened to be one of our greatest and most celebrated rugby stars."

A number of the Foley family’s closest friends were also in attendance, among them Keith Wood and Marcus Horan.

Foley died in his sleep with in Paris on 16 October last years. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral in St Flannan's Church in his hometown of Killaloe.

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