Biker Glenn Irwin's new baby boy 'was best thing in the world'
Top superbike rider Glenn Irwin has admitted to being an emotional wreck after becoming a dad for the first time.
The young motorcycle star says it's the "best thing in the world" after he and his girlfriend Laura Magee welcomed Freddie James Irwin on Monday evening, born at Craigavon Hospital and weighed 7lb 15oz.
"I don't know whether it's better than a race, but it's right up there," the Carrickfergus racer told the Belfast Telegraph.
"There were no problems whatsoever and we got home on Tuesday. Laura is totally fine. It's amazing, the best thing in the world without a doubt.
"So far, I've managed to avoid changing a nappy but I'm going to have to get stuck in.
"Laura is 100% - you need to tell her to sleep and rest. She's non stop - she always has been.
"I was an emotional wreck. I was like 'I'll not cry, I'll not cry' but I was almost crying when she was having her first contraction, never mind when the baby was coming out."
Baby Freddie arrived just before 9pm on Monday - the start of a race week for his father.
"He slept from 12 until 2am last night and then woke up for an hour and a half, so I went into the spare room," Glenn said.
"I'm trying to do as much as I can for Laura. She respects that I have to commit some time for my training. I have cut out some non-essential things and I make the most of my free time.
"It's really good - it's good for racing as well. You hear the odd person asking how are you going to juggle it. But racing is our income so we've no option but to make it successful and the better a success it is, the better for Freddie and the better for Laura."
One thing that has helped has been Glenn's work with sports psychiatrist Peter Dennison, who has also worked with Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley.
"The racing is going really well - every time I go out it gets better. But I need to keep the momentum going on that side of things as well," Glenn said.
"I have to work hard but I've been working with a sports psychiatrist and it's coming in handy.
"I've been working with him long term and it has made me prepared [for the new baby] anyway. I feel quite ready for it, so it's good."
Glenn said he and Laura have been inundated with good wishes from everywhere, including Northern Ireland's world superbike champion Jonathan Rea.
He said the name Freddie pays tribute to someone who is very close to his heart - his grandfather who was very supportive of his dad Alan, who was a champion racer.
"Freddie came from my granda Fred.
"He put everything into dad's racing so that's the name choice.
"He's highly respected in our family," Glenn said.
His family have received many messages of support from well-wishers on social media as well, Glenn revealed.
"Freddie gets more 'likes' on his photo than I get - he is up to 1,800 already."
Earlier this year Glenn joined protesters at Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus to voice his opposition to the exploratory drilling being carried out by InfraStrata close to a drinking water reservoir, saying the forest was an important part of his childhood.