Sunday 18 March 2018

Long used breathing technique to help Coleman deal with leg fracture agony

Shane comforts Seamus Coleman Photo: Stephen McCarthy
Shane comforts Seamus Coleman Photo: Stephen McCarthy
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

It was the moment during Ireland's match against Wales that left a nation on the edge of their seats.

As Irish captain Seamus Coleman went down during a tackle that left him with a broken leg - and injured for the entire season - his teammate Shane Long rushed to his side to cradle his head and offer comfort. The photograph went viral.

Now Shane's wife, Kayleah, has described how her husband used the breathing technique he learned for the birth of their first daughter, Teigan, to help his distressed captain with the pain.

Speaking yesterday to the Sunday Independent, Ms Long said: "Shane told me he had thought of the time I gave birth to Teigan. I had a hypnotherapy birth and they taught Shane to help me to breathe through it. He told me: 'It all came back to me. I was just talking to Seamus, teaching him how to breathe through it.' He remembered it all," said Kayleah. "I asked if Seamus was listening to him and he said, 'Yes, to be fair, he was. He was really breathing well'."

Seamus sent his teammate a message afterwards to thank him for his kindness in the immediate aftermath of the horrific injury.

Ms Long, who has three children with Shane, Teigan, whose seventh birthday was last Thursday, Erin (3) and a baby boy, Jax (18 weeks), said watching at the stadium, her initial thoughts were with Coleman's wife.

"It's such a horrible feeling when your husband goes down. You automatically think, 'Is he OK?' It's a sick feeling. I wondered, 'How is Seamus's wife feeling?' Because they have a small little baby as well, I didn't know whether she was at the game or not. I hadn't seen her.

"I hoped she wasn't stuck in England watching it on the telly and wanting to be there with him, but I found out afterwards she was there in a box with Jonny Walters's wife, so I'd say she probably went straight to be with him - it's not nice at all to watch." Ms Long added: "Shane is really kind and he is quite a calm guy so he would be a very good person to have by your side in that situation. I was really proud of him last night."

Speaking about the injury, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "I thought it was a horrific tackle, a compound fracture on the Irish captain. It's a very, very bad blow for Seamus Coleman. I hope the surgeons can mend that in a way that he will be able to continue to play again, which is obviously a great challenge for him. It's not usual to find that level of ferocity in tackles in the beautiful game these days. So good luck to Seamus on his recovery."

Sunday Independent

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