Robbie Keane dedicates LA Galaxy goal to late Ireland supporter

 

The Republic of Ireland captain and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane paid tribute to the family of the Ireland fan James Nolan after scoring a goal in the Galaxy's 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

Nolan, 21, of Blessington, County Wicklow, who was in Poland to follow Keane and the Ireland team during the European Championships went missing last Sunday and his body was found on Wednesday in a canal in Northern Poland after an apparent accidental drowning.

Keane's tribute came after his goal in the 30th minute as he ran toward the club's bench where he was handed a Galaxy shirt that read "RIP James Nolan" on the back. For the 31-year-old Irish captain, who has made 120 appearances with Ireland, scoring 53 goals, the gesture was important for his grieving nation.

"It was a young Irish fan who went to Poland, 21 years of age, and unfortunately drowned. Obviously, the whole country was sad and I called his father today to send my condolences and to say that my thoughts were with him and the family," said Keane, who intends to send the jersey to Nolan's family in Ireland.

"It was just a gesture because the Irish people are very close and they stick with each other through good times and bad times. He was a big, big soccer fan and it was a shame, so it was just a show of respect really."

Queen's Park Rangers, meanwhile, said in a statement that the Premier League club were "deeply saddened" by the death on Saturday of the former Northern Ireland captain Alan McDonald. He was 48.

McDonald, who managed Glentoran when they won the Irish League championship in 2009, collapsed while playing golf on Saturday morning.

A QPR statement said: "The club would like to extend its deepest condolences to Alan's family and friends at this sad time. May he rest in peace."

McDonald's close friend and former team-mate Sammy McIlroy said he was stunned to hear of McDonald's death. McIlroy, who captained the World Cup team, said: "I'm shell-shocked. Words can't even enter my head at the moment. Forty-eight is so young. Alan was always larger than life – during his career and after."

An Irish Football Association spokesman said: "We are deeply shocked at the death of Alan. To die at such a young age is terrible."

A short statement on the association's website added: "The Irish FA are saddened by this morning's news of the sudden death of Alan McDonald. Our thoughts are with his family at this time." The statement described McDonald as "a true gentleman and Northern Ireland legend".

The Belfast-born centre-half made more than 400 appearances for QPR between 1981 and 1997, before ending his playing career at Swindon Town the next year. He famously played in the Northern Ireland team which drew 0-0 against England in 1985 to qualify for the World Cup finals in Mexico, in which he played against Spain, Brazil and Algeria. He won 52 international caps, scoring three goals.

McDonald went on to manage Glentoran, winning the Irish League title in 2009. He also coached his country's Under-21 side.

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen