Football

Damien Duff's Irish Sea Recovery Session Once Brought Out The Coast Guard

Damien Duff's Irish Sea Recovery Session Once Brought Out The Coast Guard

Damien Duff was once the subject of a coast guard search near Portmarnock. Though, the Ireland international was not actually missing.

Speaking on Graham Hunters's The Big Interview podcast, Duff's former teammate Shay Given said the Ireland squad, as they regularly did, were staying at the Portmarnock Hotel.

"It's beautiful but as you can imagine, the sea is not so warm," said Given, who did not specify a year.

"It's really cold, to say the least. What we did before ice baths, our ice bath was the sea.

"A lot of the time after training, the lads would go in. Duffer was probably one of the best professionals I've ever worked with. He would religiously go in after training every day for that recovery to get ready for the game the next day or another training session.

"He would go in with the headphones on, he would go in with the coat on and shorts. I think some woman was walking her dog along the beach at the time and she shouted [at him]."

Given said he doesn't know if the woman realised the man in the sea was Damien Duff.

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Duffer had music and he's turned around and given it, 'Ah, don't be silly.' He didn't really want to listen to her. He was in his own zone and you imagine how cold it was, the last thing you want to do is have a conversation with anyone. He was just trying to get in there, get it done and get out.

She's thought that he's going to end his own life. She can't see that he's got shorts on. She can only see up to his waist and he's got his full clothes on and just walking deeper and deeper into the sea. She's run off and called the local coast guard.

We'd normally do five, ten minutes max in the sea and then back up to the hotel for a shower. By the time the bleeding coast guard came and the helicopter, there's nobody there - they think he's gone. They're up and down [the coastline] for a good couple of hours looking for him.

"I don't know how long it's took them to realise that Duffer is tucked up in him bed after a nice warm lunch," continued Given.

"He's probably watching a film in his bed, getting ready for training.

"I think we might have been looking out the window thinking, 'I wonder what that helicopter is doing up and down the coast there?'"

Picture credit: SPORTSFILE/Irish Coast Guard Facebook Page

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PJ Browne
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