‘I Can’t Thank Them Enough’ – Stephen Bradley, President of Shamrock Rovers, Responds to Showing Solidarity with Sick Son

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley has spoken of his gratitude for the messages of support he has received from his rivals in the Irish football community following the news of his son’s illness.

Eight-year-old Radley is ill in hospital after a diagnosis indicated he needed treatment and Hobbs’ boss admitted he could miss more games in the coming weeks as a result of his family’s priority situation.

He was absent from their game in Dundalk eight days ago due to his son’s situation but was present on the sidelines in last night’s win over the Bohemians before returning to the hospital to sleep overnight.

Full time, Bradley engaged in a warm embrace with the coaching staff on the losing side.

He had never seen eye to eye with Bohs boss Keith Long but the Roma crew had been in contact with Bradley on the eve of the match – there was also a round of applause from the Tallaght crowd in the eighth minute and the Rovers admitted. It was influenced by the collective response.

“It made me really emotional. I can’t thank them enough, everyone here did it for me and my family,” Bradley said, regarding to the applause.

“My young son is in the hospital watching that match, and he will know that this is for him and this is a special moment and something he will live with and with him forever. Massive, thank you so much everyone.”

Those feelings extended to his corresponding number.

“Keith texted me yesterday, and so did Trevor (Crowley – his assistant), and so did 99 percent of the league,” he said.

“Competitions don’t matter when it’s something personal like this. The support we’ve had as a family is fantastic, from everyone across the league and everyone connected to football across the country. I can’t thank them enough.

He followed Bradley, who said his son was able to watch a difficult 1-0 win for Rovers on TV.

“He has a TV in his room, and he said if we don’t win I can’t go back and sleep in the hospital, so I know where to sleep tonight. I’m happy for him.”

Rovers are entering a busy period as their European campaign kicks off in ten days and Bradley realizes that he will have to rely on his staff at times.

“We are a tight group,” he said. “There may be times if it’s not okay I won’t be here, but I trust Glenn (Cronin) and Stephen (McPhail) with my life.

“I know they will be fine and we may need that over the next few weeks or months.”

Long borrowed a line from Jurgen Klopp in sending his best wishes to his counterpart.

“Football in our world is the most important unimportant thing. I think Jurgen Klopp was quoted as saying that.

“Really puts this into perspective when Stephen is facing hardships and challenges and is right at this moment, and our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and his young son.

“It’s right, right and proper to stand (with him). We’re competitors on the field, we’ve had our moments, Stephen and I, but the human side is that no one wants to see a sick little kid. It just doesn’t feel right.

“Our thoughts and prayers are from everyone within our club with Stephen and his family at this time, that’s for sure. Life is bigger than football.”

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