Sports legend Davy Fitzgerald has revealed he has become a father again — after a 25-year gap.
Clareman Davy told the Sunday World how his wife Sharon O’Loughlin gave birth to their first child together, Dáithí Óg, in May.
The All-Ireland winning goalkeeper has a 25-year-old son, Colm, from his previous marriage to Ciara Flynn.
Davy (51), who married Sharon in 2019, also has two 12-year-old Bichon Frise dogs.
“Holly and Sophie, they are 12 years of age since last week,” he says of his pets.
“I woke up this morning and Holly was stuck at the back of my head, she was right at the back of my pillow. It was deadly. It’s the best thing I ever done.
“We have a five-month-old baby and my God, the dogs are so good with the child, it’s unreal.”
He admits his eldest son Colm was pleasantly surprised at the arrival of a baby brother after a quarter of a century.
“We have young Dáithí Óg and Colm,” smiles Davy. “It’s different for Colm. Like 25 years on and he ends up with a brother. You know what, I don’t think that’s a bad thing either that there’s two of them together now.
“I’m chuffed. It’s one of the best things that ever happened me.”
Asked if he’s busy with the likes of nappy changing again, Davy reflects: “Let’s put it like this. Sharon is amazing at what she does. Sharon won’t let Dáithí Óg out of her sight.
“She won’t f**king let me do anything, so she won’t! She is very attached to him, but you know it’s been a good thing for us.”
Not only has Davy two Liam McCarthy Cup medals with Clare from 1995 and 1997, but as manager he also steered the Banner county to All Ireland glory in 2013.
Sharon is a former champion camogie player and a sister of Clare legend Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin, while Colm is a former minor player with his county as well as Sixmilebridge and part of the Clare senior management team.
With all that pedigree, surely the future is bright for Dáithí Óg in the hurling stakes.
“I might get him ready with a golf club or something, we’ll see what comes,” laughs Davy. “Whatever he wants to do we’ll support him.
“He might just stick to the golf and make life easy. Dáithí Óg is in trouble, between my competitive nature and, trust me, Sharon is ultra-competitive. She is as competitive as it gets, so he has no chance. He’s in trouble.”
Davy admits he kept Dáithí Óg’s arrival pretty much under his hat.
“We haven’t broadcast it too much, it’s not really out there too much,” confirms Davy, who returned to RTÉ screens tonight as one of the four mentors on Ireland’s Fittest Family.
“We would be very private that way ourselves. We want Dáithí Óg to have his own chance to just be very normal and do his own thing."
As for the chances of Davy, Dáithí Óg and Sharon going on Fittest Family in the future, he laughed. “I don’t know what kind of shape I will be in 12 or 13 years when he hits the age he needs to.”
Former coach Derval O’Rourke has left the series to be replaced by jockey Nina Carberry and Davy admits that he’ll miss his former sidekick on the show.
“Derval was incredible. The relationship I have with Derval is brilliant and we’d still be in contact a lot,” he explains.
“Nina has hit the ground running. She just fitted in so easily. She is probably as competitive a person as I have ever come across. She has a lovely way about her.
“When she needs to turn that ‘on’ button and get into competition she is in it, and she will look at any way to get her families through to the next round. Nina is a great addition to us.”
Davy reveals the eliminators in the new series are nail-biting and go down to the wire.
“We have a few kids in this show and I swear to God, they are absolutely incredible,” he exclaims.
“But I tell you, the biggest story of the show is the moms that do it for their families. They are nearly dragged into it, oh my God, they are incredible.
“There have been a few mothers that do not want to be there, they’re only doing it for their kids. I love that.”
Davy is now back managing Waterford again and hopes to give the Deise their first Liam McCarthy cup win since 1959.
“I started out my senior management career here in 2008. They got me in for a quick fix to get them over a few months. I ended up a few years here. We got to our first All-Ireland final in years. I’m back. I’d love to get them some silverware. I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been,” he maintains.
Like most people, Davy has found the past two and a half years a challenge.
“Lockdown was a struggle and I still think a lot of people struggle coming out of it,” he reflects.
“I feel people are very slow to get back into the social element and meeting people and talking to people. Me personally, I just enjoyed the break, did more exercise and I spent the time with the people I should be spending a bit more time with.
“It made me realise that the likes of my Ma, my Da - I needed to spend more time at home.
“Even the last few months, to tell you the truth, I’m probably a bit crazy, I should be spending more time then what I am at home and I’m going to rectify that.”
But Davy admits he initially panicked in lockdown.
“I remember a few days before the first lockdown came and we rushed out to buy as much food as we could because we weren’t exactly sure how it was going to go,” he recalls.
“I went out and bought crazy amounts of stuff, because I was scared. There was no point in saying I wasn’t scared. I never came across anything like this.
“I can remember buying a second fridge, I can remember having that feeling inside me, ‘this doesn’t feel right, like this isn’t normal, like’.”
He and pregnant Sharon took their first holiday during lockdown late last year.
“I went to Portugal last year, totally chilled out. That’s the last time I’ve been away, last November. Pretty soon now, I’m out the door and I’m having a bit of a holiday,” he says.
“The baby came later so we needed that bit of a breather. I was covering 30 to 40,000 steps a day every day, which was great.”
Ireland’s Fittest Family is on RTÉ One on Sundays at 6.30pm.