By Damian Dolan
London coach Michael Maher praised the “character” of Sean Hickey, after the Exiles forward came off the bench against Galway, just 24 hours after the death of his father, Bartley.
A minute’s silence was observed before last Sunday game at McGovern Park, Ruislip, in memory of Bartley, who came from Galway. Hickey’s mother, Jude, is also from Galway.
“For Sean to come out and be involved in a game and occasion of this magnitude shows the character of the lad,” Maher told the Irish World.
“I don’t know how many other people would have been able to do that. It’s testament to Sean.
“Sean’s father was a great supporter of him and Gaelic football. He would have been very proud.”
Maher, Hickey’s manager at Round Towers, says the London-born player contacted him the day before Sunday’s game with Galway with the devastating news.
“His first comment to me was that his dad had been telling everyone in hospital that Sean would be involved against Galway. He was so proud of Sean for that,” said Maher.
“When Sean spoke to Ciaran [Deely] and myself today [Sunday] he said ‘let’s concentrate on football, and we’ll take it as it comes after that’.”
Hickey came within a whisker of taking the Connacht champions and All-Ireland semi-finalists to extra-time, when he nearly got on the end of Killian Butler’s shot in the last minutes of Sunday’s game.
Maher added: “I’ve known Sean for a long time and he’s been a great servant to London football. He’s come up through the underage and he’s been so dedicated to Round Towers.
“He’s had sniffs with London before, but this year I’ve seen a side of Sean which has made me very proud. He’s been so dedicated and was so determined to play today.”