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Watch: Newry City spring a surprise on supporter as boss Mullan thrilled to give something back

 

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Having a ball: Newry fan Daniel Murphy gets a surprise visit from Decky Carville, Darren Mullan and (back) Sean Gaffney — ‘Gaff’ — one of the club’s groundsmen

Having a ball: Newry fan Daniel Murphy gets a surprise visit from Decky Carville, Darren Mullan and (back) Sean Gaffney — ‘Gaff’ — one of the club’s groundsmen

Having a ball: Newry fan Daniel Murphy gets a surprise visit from Decky Carville, Darren Mullan and (back) Sean Gaffney — ‘Gaff’ — one of the club’s groundsmen

Newry City AFC boss Darren Mullan said he was delighted to give football fans a lift in what is a dark and worrying time for everyone.

Football has ground to a halt following the coronavirus outbreak and it's impossible to predict when it will return.

But everyone is agreed that its significance has been put in perspective by this lethal virus which is spreading across the world.

In these times, football can't bring supporters any comfort but Mullan has made sure the smile on the face of Newry fan Daniel Murphy is as wide as ever.

The 32-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, was paid a surprise visit by his favourite manager, midfielder Decky Carville and groundsman Sean Gaffney for a welcome kick-about in his back garden.

 

It was all filmed by Ally McKenzie, who shot the club's brilliant documentary 'Here We Are', and it quickly went viral, gaining more than 800 likes on Twitter.

For fans and players facing a spring of discontent, it was the perfect pick-up.

"Daniel has cerebral palsy and he has been following us home and away for years," explained Darren. "When you have spare time we felt it would be nice to give him a lift.

"Myself and Ally thought it would be a good idea and Decky, who lives nearby, agreed.

"Daniel's mum didn't tell him so it was a surprise and you can see how happy he was to see us in the video.

"He just lives for the football and he's in great form when it's on. It's going to be hard for all of us now the football has stopped and we just thought this would give him a lift. Fortunately a lot of people have seen it now and it has given everyone a lift. It's a wee feel-good story at a time when we need it."

The Championship club are one of many waiting on an update as the Northern Ireland Football League work out how they can finish the season.

"I just can't see it finishing by the end of June," added Mullan.

"People's health and wellbeing comes before any sport but having no football can affect people in an adverse way. The game is a great release for us, mentally and physically.

"At the minute, the club has come to a halt. We rely on lotto coming in which requires house visits and that has stopped. Playing without fans is not sustainable for any club.

"It's worrying for a lot of clubs but I'd be more concerned when someone's business is their livelihood and they need it. A football club can stop and start again."

Mullan has urged his players to follow the health guidelines and none are reporting any symptoms.

• Linfield manager David Healy has indicated the player who tested positive for coronavirus is "feeling much better" and he thanked everyone for their support and kind words.

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