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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders