Irish internationals, past and present, and other well-known football personalities, have extended best wishes for a speedy recovery to Kevin Sheedy as he undergoes surgery for bowel cancer.
The former Ireland international and Everton stalwart — currently coaching at the club’s youth academy — revealed yesterday he has been diagnosed with the illness but insisted his aim is to return to his job as soon as possible.
Said Sheedy: “It’s not ideal but I have to remain positive. After a period of rehabilitation, I will return to my coaching role at Everton.”
Sheedy was keen to highlight the importance of people getting an early diagnosis if they experienced any symptoms related to the disease.
“There is a history in the family,” he told the Everton website. “It’s so important that people don’t ignore the early signs and symptoms and don’t be afraid to consult a GP.”
Sheedy made 369 appearances for Everton, scoring 97 goals, but he is best-known in this country for his 46 appearances for Ireland, the highlights of which include his equalising goal against England at Italia ’90 and the first penalty in the dramatic shoot-out against Romania, which saw Jack Charlton’s team progress to the World Cup quarter-finals.
Former Irish internationals were quick to offer public support to Sheedy yesterday.
“Lots of luck and a speedy recovery,” said Shay Given. “Please God he makes a full recovery.”
Matt Holland said: “Get well soon Kevin Sheedy, scorer of Ireland’s first ever goal at a World Cup finals, an Irish soccer legend.”
And rising Irish and Everton star Shane Duffy described Sheedy as a “great coach who taught me a lot,” adding, “my prayers are with him.”
There were also messages of support for the popular 52-year-old from Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler and Everton club captain Phil Neville.
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