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Son of rugby legend Foley launches Mass tribute

Published 25/10/2016

Tony Foley sheds a tear for his dad at Munster’s game against Glasgow
Tony Foley sheds a tear for his dad at Munster’s game against Glasgow

Anthony 'Axel' Foley's young son is organising a campaign to encourage people who've lost loved ones to keep their memories alive.

Tony Foley (11) has created a Facebook page to support his #8masses4no8 campaign and ask people to attend eight Masses for the next eight Sundays, and to light a candle for those who passed away.

His father was a number eight for Munster, the rugby club where he became a hero as a player and a manager.

Adding further significance to the beginning of the campaign, Anthony would have turned 43 this Sunday, the first day of Tony's plan.

The Facebook site - Axel Foley Memorial - was launched yesterday and is already getting huge traction.

Tony has asked people to upload pictures of the candles they've lit, either for their loved ones or for his father.

The page explained that the young man and his family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since his dad passed away in Paris the weekend before last.

"Tony has been busy thinking of a tribute to his dad and has asked that this page be set up in his memory," the page said.

"He wants to use it to ask people, who want to show their support, to attend Mass on each of the next eight Sundays to pray for people who have died and while there to offer a prayer for his dad also.

"The number 8 is, of course, a special number for Tony and his family but the eight Sundays also bring us up to that special family time of year, Christmas."

The first to post on the site was Tony's mother Olive, who confirmed it was her son's idea and that he thought it up after returning from Thomond Park.

There were emotional scenes in the stadium as Munster beat Glasgow Warriors, the first game since their manager's sudden passing.

Tony joined the team on the pitch after the game to sing 'Stand Up and Fight' after the 38-17 victory.

"The eight week cycle is fitting as his father will, of course, forever be associated with the number 8. It's a lovely idea," his mum said.

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