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Friday people: Sara Booth

We ask personalities about the special relationships in their lives

By Kerry McKitterick


My stand-out best pal is Nadine McCorry-Murphy. She and I played football together when we were about 15 and we hated each other.

Then Nadine won a football scholarship to America when she was 20 and when she came back a few years later she had a husband, a baby and we had both grown up a lot. We're now really close – I'm godmother to her son Luca (pictured with Nadine) and I regard her husband Tuda as a best friend too. Those two really are my inner circle.

I don't seem to know anyone outside of football so I have a close group of friends I've grown up with, as we've all played together. There's Lynsey Patterson who works for the Public Health Agency – we call her our 'mad scientist' – and also Angela Platt, who is now the chief executive of Ulster Hockey.

We don't drink, we don't party, we've just grown up playing football and travelling the world together. There have been good times and bad times but we have come out of them all with smiles on our faces.


My dad passed away from lung cancer six years ago. My parents had separated long before and we had drifted apart from dad, who had moved to Dublin.

He was originally from Australia and it was while he was taking a career break out there for a couple of years that he was diagnosed. It gave the family a chance to reconnect and we were all able to be with him when he died, even my mum.

She now lives in Ballynahinch – she's the epitome of an eccentric artist and I see her as often as I can.

I have a brother called Matthew who lives in Bangor and a four-year-old nephew David.

I dote on David and take him every weekend. It's great because I get to hand him back to his parents when he's had his fill of sweets!

My parents have always been very supportive of me, in both my career and personal life. And I've been very lucky in that I get to work in an industry that I'm absolutely passionate about.


That's my brother's wife Maeve.

I'm not really one to talk about things or ask for advice but Maeve knows how to get things out of me – she has had plenty of practice in that being married to Matthew!


I went to Hazelwood Integrated College and when I told my teacher, Frances Shannon, that I wanted to be a PE teacher, she brought me to the University of Ulster's Jordanstown campus and introduced me to Dr Marie Murphy, who gave me a tour and let me sit in on one of her lectures. I realised that day that I really wanted to study sports development and ended up doing that with her as one of my lecturers. She's stayed in touch ever since and I would count her as a friend.

She's certainly the person I would go to for advice on my career.

My secret crush is ... Robert Downey Jr

I'm a big fan of his and I love him in the Iron Man films. I remember him as well from the television show Ally McBeal. He's charismatic, has a pearly white smile and a real twinkle in his eye.


My first guest is Karren Brady (left). She's the current vice-chairman of West Ham Football Club and appears as a judge on The Apprentice. I would love to pick her brains on breaking the glass ceiling in football as she's one of the first women to have done it. Next, I would ask Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook. I really admire what she's done with the company and I find her truly inspirational. For entertainment I would ask Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan to sing for us. I'd also ask chef James Martin to prepare the food, and finally Ellen DeGeneres would come along to add a little humour.

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