Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville players help out distressed man on M2

By Allan Preston

Cliftonville football players have been praised for coming to the aid of a distressed man on the M2 on Tuesday.

Brothers Jay and Rory Donnelly had been driving home with other players after a 3-0 victory against Ballymena United when they noticed the young man at the roadside.

Police closed part of the M2 for a time in both directions as the incident was resolved.

Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor arrived on the scene minutes later.

"By the time I arrived both of them had got out of their car in the pouring rain and were speaking to the distressed guy," he said.

"One of the players called the police and we handed the situation over to them as soon as they arrived, which was about 10 minutes later."

He continued: "It really wasn't an easy situation for them to walk into and I commend them for their compassion in that moment.

"I really do think they should be congratulated for what they were able to do."

Another woman at the scene was also thanked for helping to comfort the man and for making contact with the emergency services.

"I would say that all the players were able to do for him in that stressful situation was to speak to him and listen to his problems for as long as possible so that he could get the help he needed," added Mr Lawlor.

Cliftonville fans were also quick to add their praise for the kind-hearted actions of the players as well as sending their support to the young man.

"Really fair play lads," one Cliftonville fan posted on Twitter yesterday.

"Helping out to this person in their darkest hour.

"Proud to have you both at the club I support."

Another said: "Absolutely brilliant.

"A credit to the club. Hope the fella gets all the help he needs and gets back to his old self in no time."

Addressing the Donnelly brothers, a delighted fan commented: "Brilliant. Bags of goals and bags of heart between them."

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is available by contacting the Samaritans on 084 5790 9090. Alternatively, you can also call Lifeline on 080 8808 8000.

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