Irish and Preston North End defender Kevin O’Connor finished an incredible 2017 that saw him win the League-Cup double, earn a move to the championship and now become the lucky winner of the National Lottery Christmas Millionaire Raffle on New Year's Eve.
O'Connor received the ticket from his uncle and godfather for Christmas. He called into Flanagan’s Centra Supermarket on Tuesday morning where he was greeted by the shop's owner Louis Flanagan. Flanagan told the Irish Times he was delighted for the youngster:
I was delighted for Kevin and his parents, Brian and Breda. One could not meet a nicer person or family. When he came into the supermarket along with his girlfriend it was the very same Kevin of old. He has not changed one bit. He is as nice a person as one could meet.
Kevin got to where he is today the hard way. He played with Waterford before joining Cork City. He worked so hard to get that opportunity with Preston North End having also played with Ireland at underage level. If I was to pick a person to win I could not have done any better. It’s wonderful and with such a nice family I have still hope in this world.
O'Connor was a driving figure in Cork City's double last season. His lotto win prompted former Cork team-mate Steven Beattie to reach out in a bid to settle an old loan.
Hate to ask @kevoconnor12 but any chance of getting that €20 you owe me from Cyprus lad? 😂😂😂 Congrats bud
— Steven Beattie (@steven5beattie) January 2, 2018
O'Connor found it difficult to get game time initially at Preston but his patience paid off when he made his league debut last month.