Saturday 17 August 2019

'My head is going to burst' - Daniel (8) can't wait to lead the Boys in Green out against Denmark tonight

A young Ireland fan who will be a mascot for the Irish team in their crucial World Cup play-off qualifier tonight is convinced the Boys in Green will win.

Daniel Bracken was presented with an Ireland jersey signed by the Irish squad ahead of the big clash with Denmark
Daniel Bracken was presented with an Ireland jersey signed by the Irish squad ahead of the big clash with Denmark

Sean Nolan

A young Ireland fan is so excited about leading out the Boys in Green tonight that he has said he thinks "his head is going to burst".

Daniel Bracken (8), was on the Ray D'Arcy show on Radio 1 today after his aunt Debbie sent an email to the show last week asking if there was  a chance he could be a mascot for the World Cup play-off against Denmark at Aviva Stadium tonight.

The email read: "Hi Ray, I know this may be a long shot but if it is possible I think you can help.

"I am emailing about by eight-year-old nephew Daniel Bracken. He lost his granddad Gerry to cancer two years ago and he was devastated as they were such good buddies.

"Daniel is the only boy in our family and they had such a special bond. Last year his mammy was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

"Our worlds were again turned upside down by cancer. His only experience of cancer was losing his granddad.

"His little world has changed and he has never once complained. He has thrown himself into one of his granddad's passions and that's football.

"His family has been in hospital for the last two weeks, very ill, and Daniel has been amazing to her and to us, giving her his favourite teddy, non-stop cuddles and basically just been an amazing boy.

"He makes us laugh all the time and reminds us so much of dad. His granddad would be so proud. 

"I was thinking what would make him and my sister happy and put a smile on their faces. I would love if he could be a mascot for Ireland on Tuesday night for the match against Denmark."

Ireland sponsors Three heard the email and organised for Daniel to lead the team out tonight for the crucial clash with the Danes.

The football-mad eight-year-old revealed to the show this afternoon that he was so excited for the game he had hiccups in the car on the way to Dublin.

And when asked how he would react to the big moment out on the pitch, Daniel said: "When I come back in from holding the player's hands and singing the Irish anthem my head is going to burst."

However, Daniel also had strong tactical advice for Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane.

"I have my own plan," he told Ray "We're going to let Denmark attack a little bit and were going to stay in defensive and then they might get a bit tired and then Ireland will make their attack and then we will have a better chance of scoring."

As for a prediction, Daniel was confident that things would go our way, declaring: "Ireland are going to win.

Daniel Bracken with aunt Debbie and Ray D'Arcy
Daniel Bracken with aunt Debbie and Ray D'Arcy

Daniel will be accompanied to the game by his auntie, his mother and father.

"It is about making memories," his aunt Debbie told the show. "This is the best memory that Daniel and Karen could possibly have. It's been a great distraction."

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