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John O’Shea presented with his Waterford’s Greatest Sporting Hero award

WLR Waterford Greatest Sporting HeroA listener poll spanning the month of June on WLR has decided that John O’Shea is Waterford’s Greatest Sporting Hero.

John was in attendance at the WLR Broadcast Centre this afternoon, Friday July 25th with his wife Yvonne, mother Mary and his kids Alfie, Ruby and Penny to accept his award – a beautiful Waterford Crystal trophy.

He said that “it’s a fantastic honour, I’ve always been proud to represent Waterford all around the world, especially when I know the depth of talent that Waterford has in such a variety of sports – just to be in the mix was a great honour and to come out on top is very special.”

He went on to say that when it comes to Waterford sport “we need to give ourselves a pat on the back – but in particular, give the unsung heroes a pat on the back – the people who do the coaching, the parents who provide the support to the kids to give them a chance to go on and succeed at their chosen sport and obviously for all the different support groups on clubs that go on behind the scenes.”

The competition was last run 15 years ago when O'Shea scored the fourth goal by chipping Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia from the edge of the 18-yard box. At that time, Carrick-On-Suir cyclist Sean Kelly won the award having just pipped Olympic silver medallist John Treacy.

This year, John was faced with a strong competition in hurlers Ken McGrath, John Keane and John Mullane, former Ireland Rugby Captain Niamh Briggs, Olympian John Tracy, Camogie All-Star Beth Carton, Olympian Thomas Barr and boxer Neil Gough.

Having won 14 trophies while at Manchester United – 5 Premier Leagues, 1 FA Cup, 1 Champions League, 2 Football League Cups and 4 Community Shields – John is one of the most successful soccer players Ireland has produced.

He has been capped for Ireland 118 times and played for Man United 393 times playing in all positions in the defensive line as well as in midfield, averaging 45 games per season across ten years. Only two Irishmen have won the Premier League more times than him – Roy Keane and Dennis Irwin.

He played in some of the greatest Manchester United teams in Ferguson's reign as manager – playing alongside the likes of Ronaldo, Beckham, Keane, Scholes and more.

Des Whelan (Managing Director of WLR) has thanked all who voted in the poll to find Waterford's Greatest Sporting Hero. He went on to pay tribute to John and his outstanding list of achievements and honours throughout his career – but also for being such a great role model for the young people of Waterford and as an ambassador for the county.

Des thanked the sponsor Flahavan’s who supported the campaign from the start.


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