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The Most Memorable Sporting Cameos From The Late Late Toy Show

The Most Memorable Sporting Cameos From The Late Late Toy Show
Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney
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'The Late Late Toy Show' airs tonight. In a world of darkness, it is one of the last beacons of pure televisual joy.

We step into the unknown this year, with the first Toy Show of the Patrick Kielty era, after the departure of Ryan Tubridy earlier this year. No doubt there will be great intrigue to see how the County Down man tackles the unique challenge presented by the Toy Show.

As the Late Late Toy Show has had its stride as a cultural phenomenon over the last decade, it has often been the interaction between children and sports stars that have been most moving. It's so easy to be cynical about the world of sport, but to see the awe that children experience in the presence of their sporting heroes is to remember why so many of us fell in love with sport in first place.

Here are some of the best Late Late Toy Show appearances from Irish sports stars in recent years. We're looking forward to a few more surprises this evening.


READ HERE: Ryan Tubridy Announces Return To Irish Airwaves Via UK Station

READ HERE: Quiz: Name Every Ireland Player To Feature Under Stephen Kenny

Late Late Toy Show Best Sporting Moments 

Robbie Keane meets Domhnall

The year: 2013

The set up: Domhnall, the world's biggest Robbie Keane fan, is playing a game of FIFA13, discussing his favourite footballer. Little does he know that the LA Galaxy striker is backstage.

Why we love this: Domhnall is an absolute star. He shows great knowledge of Robbie's injury history and the intricacies of his cartwheel goal celebration. And Robbie is in excellent form despite being on crutches.


Domhnall also correctly predicts that Ireland will qualify for Euro 2016, so that's wonderful. Domhnall's appearance went so well, he would made a cameo on the LLS the week after.



Rory McIlroy meets Charlie

The year: 2016

The set up: 9-year-old Charlie is an aspiring golfer who knows everything about Rory McIlroy's career. Little does he know that Rory McIlroy is backstage.


Why we love this: Charlie's knowledge of Rory's career is incredible and we love how starstruck he is in McIlroy's presence. Charlie also forces McIlroy into interesting admission about the shortcomings in his own game.


READ HERE: Michael Jordan Called Over To Rory McIlroy And Shane Lowry's Ryder Cup Rollover



The Ireland WNT wish Emmie happy birthday

The year: 2022

The premise: Members of the Ireland women's football team surprise young fan Emmie with a special birthday present

Why we love it: Last winter was a memorable time for the Irish women's team, who qualified for the World Cup for the first time ever. Little over a month over the play-off win over Scotland, captain Katie McCabe and an entourage including Áine O'Gorman, Jamie Finn, Louise Quinn, and Lucy Quinn surprised superfan Emmie for a special birthday to remember on the Late Late Toy Show.

Not only that, but they revealed that they would be bringing her down under for the tournament in Australia in the summer of 2023. A truly special moment.


Davy Fitz meets Michael

The year: 2018

The set up: Michael O'Brien is discussing his favourite manager in the GAA, Davy Fitzgerald. Little does he know that Davy Fitz is secretly backstage.

Why we love it: This is just everything. Michael is some man, a young lad with serious auld lad energy. He asks Davy the perfect question. 'Where do you get your passion?'

Michael's hunger for Davy autographs is also commendable. Strike while the iron's hot!


The lads would go on to make a pretty special programme for RTÉ.


Katie Taylor meets Ella

The year: 2019

The set-up: Ella Thompson, a talented young boxer from Dunboyne, is on stage discussing her passion for boxing. Little does she know that Ireland's greatest boxer Katie Taylor is secretly backstage.

Why we love it: This was incredible television. All of these clips are heartwarming but this is really special because of Ella's own boxing ability. Katie puts on the boxing pads and Ella throws punches bareknuckle and some of the greatest television Ireland has ever produced takes place.


Caoimhín Kelleher surprises Cealan

The year: 2022

The premise: Young Liverpool fanatic Cealan is invited to test his blindfolded penalty-taking against Ryan Tubridy - but he is about to be surprised when he removes his blindfold and sees Liverpool and Ireland goalie Caoimhín Kelleher in front of him instead.

Why we love it: Is this the best executed surprise appearance on the Late Late Toy Show? It's certainly up there. Even the manner in which Tubridy tries to disguise the direction his voice is coming from to hide the surprise a little bit longer is golden. Plus, Caoimhín seems like an absolutely dead-on guy. Kelleher asked Cealan "are you okay?" is a touching moment.


Shane Lowry meets Ella

The year: 2019

The set up: Ella is an aspiring golf prodigy and her favourite golfer is Shane Lowry. Little does she know backstage at the Late Late Toy Show is Shane Lowry.

Why we love this: Ella had put on an excellent chipping display before Lowry's arrival that's not in this clip. She's absolutely stunned to meet Lowry, who'd only won the Open a few months previous. It's also a class gesture from Lowry to bring the flag from the 18th at Portrush.


Kellie Harrington's Toy Show dream comes true

The year: 2021

The premise: Recently-crowned Olympic champion Kellie Harrington surprises two young Dublin boxers

Why we love it: This is the rare occasion where the guest themselves seems to get just as much of a kick out of their appearance as the kids they're surprising. Harrington revealed she has been on the hunt for a Toy Show ticket for years, before joking that she had to win an Olympic medal just to get to the show. There's also an amazing moment where Darcy - one of the young boxers Harrington surprises - asks if Harrington knows her sister, an up-and-coming fighter in Dublin. In typical Irish fashion, the answer was of course 'yes.'


Jamie Heaslip meets Evan

The year: 2017

The set up: Evan is a huge rugby fan. Little does he know that Jamie Heaslip is backstage waiting to meet him.

Why we love this: Evan is just brilliant interacting with Heaslip.

The unexpected discussion on Jamie Heaslip's handsomeness is also pretty great.


The Galway hurlers meet Daniel  

The year: 2017

The set up: Daniel is a massive Galway hurling fan. Little does he know that backstage at Late Late Toy Show are five members of the Galway team are backstage with Liam MacCarthy.

Why we love this: The look of joy on Daniel's face when he lifts Liam MacCarthy as if he was up the Hogan Stand steps.

SEE ALSO: Jason McAteer Escalates Roy Keane Feud With Remarkable TV Rant

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