Sport Soccer

Wednesday 22 November 2017

FAI and clubs to support O'Neill fund

Garry Doyle

The thoughts of players and fans alike will be with a striker who won't even be on the field as Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda meet in the EA Sports Cup final at Tallaght Stadium stadium tonight.

Drogheda striker Gary O'Neill was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer, a development which has cast a long shadow over United's run to the final.

The two clubs, for their part, have announced that they will donate half of their prize-money to O'Neill, who is a former Rovers striker.

Their generosity will give the popular frontman €10,000 to ease the financial burden for the road ahead and the FAI have joined in with the gesture to add a further €5,000 to the pot.

In the meantime, O'Neill plans to appear in the Drogheda dressing-room before the game tonight to issue a rallying address and let his colleagues know that life goes on.

Rovers captain Shane Robinson referenced O'Neill's plight when asked about the pressures of a cup final in front of expectant home fans.

"Are we really under pressure when you consider what Gary has to go through?" asked Robinson. "Football is a pleasurable pressure."

Shamrock Rovers v Drogheda United

Tallaght Stadium, 6.0

Match odds: Shamrock Rovers 8/11, Drogheda 4/1, Draw 10/3

Referee: P Sutton (Clare)

Irish Independent

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