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Duffy’s dad feared that he was saying goodbye

Brian Duffy believed he was being asked to say goodbye to his son Shane as the teenager prepared to undergo life-saving surgery.

The 18-year-old Everton defender was rushed to hospital in Dublin on Friday evening after suffering an horrific injury during a Republic of Ireland training game.

His father travelled with him in the ambulance from Gannon Park in Malahide to the Mater Hospital, where it was discovered he had ruptured his hepatic artery.

However, as he was being prepared to go to theatre, young Duffy's blood pressure dropped alarmingly.

Mr Duffy said: “As I was going in the door, I was told to get back — his blood pressure had completely dropped.

“Surgeon John O'Byrne asked me if I wanted to talk to Shane before they took him up for surgery, and I said, ‘Good luck to you Shane, you're in good hands here,’ but I believe at that stage that they wanted me to say ‘Cheerio'.

“I had a really bad feeling. I said to John, ‘I know you are telling me that everything is positive, but I have a really, really bad feeling'.”

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Amazingly Duffy could be back playing within just three or four months.

Meanwhile, Robbie Keane has given his backing to Neil Lennon's bid to claim the vacant manager's job at Celtic.

Keane, who will lead the Republic of Ireland out for their friendly clash with Paraguay in Dublin tonight, says the 38-year-old Lennon is the man to revive the club's fortunes.

Keane said: “I am sure from Neil's point of view, he would like it to happen, and I am hoping he does get the job because I was very, very impressed with what he had to offer and what he did on the pitch with the lads.

“He is very passionate about Celtic, there's no question about that.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Westwood, Kelly, McShane, St Ledger O'Shea, Lawrence, Andrews, Whelan, Duff, Keane, Doyle.

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