MICHAELA HARTE’S husband has been recalled to the Down senior football team.
John McAreavey, the 30-year-old whose wife Michaela was killed on their honeymoon in Mauritius in January, has made a surprise return to the county team which reached last year’s All-Ireland final.
Mr McAreavey returned playing football for his club Tullylish in the months following the tragic killing of his wife, the only daughter of Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte.
Indeed, the pair who have been united in grief following Michaela’s brutal murder, could end up on opposite sides if Down and Tyrone progress to the Ulster final.
The Down manager, James McCartan, brought John McAreavey back into the county squad after several impressive performances for his local club.
“I saw him score 1-12 for his club in a league match recently, but that is not a once off: he has been doing that for a while,” said the Down PRO Paul Rooney.
“He has been playing some unreal football of late.
“He is certainly in contention for the championship,” said Mr Rooney.
And the Down PRO said that football seemed to be helping John deal with the tragic death of his wife.
“I think he is enjoying his football and I’m sure it helps to take his mind off everything that happened,” said Mr Rooney.
John McAreavey, an accountant, made his debut for the Down senior team in 2008 with Michaela his biggest fan.
One of the many iconic photographs of the couple showed John collecting a cup after helping his club Tullylish win a league title with a smiling Michaela in the background.
It also emerged this week that John may have to return to Mauritius to give evidence in the trial of the men accused of his wife’s death.
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