'I felt nervous and sick': Tom Parsons on his 'magic' reception from Mayo fans

By Stephen Barry

Injured Mayo footballer Tom Parsons said he felt "nervous and sick" before attending his team's first-round qualifier against Limerick.

Photos by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

However, a "magic" pre-game moment, as he received a standing ovation from the travelling Mayo faithful, helped to calm his nerves for the 18-point win.

The midfielder recently underwent the first operation on a horror knee injury he sustained against Galway, where he ruptured three of the four ligaments in his left knee, tore the fourth and dislocated the knee, as well as sustaining tears to his calf and hamstring.

Facing into a long rehabilitation period which could take more than a year, Parsons nonetheless arrived at the Gaelic Grounds wearing a leg brace and with a crutch to cheer on his teammates.

"Before the game, I felt nervous and sick," he told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One.

"The reception I received from the Mayo people was just magic and it made me feel really at home.

"That combined with the performance of the lads, I couldn't ask for more than that."

Parsons spoke in depth about the injury last month, saying: "To experience the pain was something I can't get my head around. In a deep tissue massage, when you're asked what the pain is, I'd be the first to say that's eight or nine out of ten. Now I understand what 10 is. This was just excruciating."

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