A dream come true for David

Thursday, 7 June 2018

A dream come true for David thumbnail

A COLERAINE  supporter has spoken of his delight after watching the Bannsiders clinch the Irish Cup, before holding the trophy at St James' Lodge Nursing Home in Ballymoney.
David Knipe - who has lived with Multiple Sclerosis since his 20's - attended the showpiece final against Cliftonville on May 5 as Coleraine ran out 3-1 winners at Windsor Park.
Things got even better for the Kilrea man as Coleraine Football Club arranged for David to get his hands on the coveted trophy last week.
David has been a fan of the Bannsiders for as long as he remembers and cites legendary goalkeeper Vince Magee as his favourite player growing up.
“My father took me to matches when I was at Primary School and I instantly loved it," David said.
“I always had a small interest in English football, in particular Nottingham Forest, but Coleraine were always my number one team.
“I went to Coleraine Inst with Barry Hunter and Gary Taylor who were attached to the football club.
“I used to love watching Vince Magee in nets as he was such a commanding figure and Davy Jackson was also our bread man, so I have to mention him.
“I can also remember the big European fixtures against Dundee United and Tottenham Hotspur and how packed The Showgrounds was."
David listens to Irish League games every Saturday on BBC Radio Ulster and paid tribute to the staff at St James' Lodge for helping his dreams come true last month.
“Going to the Irish Cup final was an unbelievable experience and something I'll never forget," David added.
“My plan was to just watch the game live on the TV, but Jim Boyce from Coleraine FC sent in two tickets and a worker kindly took me to the game.
“It was brilliant to see the new Windsor Park and celebrate a win. All the workers and management at the Lodge pushed the boat out for me and I'm very thankful.
“I decorated my room with flags and scarves and I got a new Coleraine jacket and t-shirt, so it was a brilliant day out."
David would then receive a massive shock when an unexpected visitor arrived at the Lodge in the form of the Irish Cup.
“I went downstairs and was asked into the office not knowing what to expect," David continued.
“The trophy was then brought into me and I think my jaw broke. I still haven't stopped smiling.
“I had to ring everyone including my cousin in America and pose for photographs and I'm still in shock to this day.
“I would like to thank Coleraine FC for facilitating this, especially Jim Boyce who has been more than good to me.
“Everyone knows I'm a big Coleraine supporter including the Community Transport drivers, so this has been great."
Now that Coleraine have secured their first trophy since 2003, David has called on Oran Kearney's players to keep challenging for silverware.
“My message to the players and management staff is just to keep going," David concluded.
“We have now tasted success, so hopefully that's just a start and we can compete with Crusaders.
“It's important that we keep our young players and the manager. I was really happy for Oran as he came in for a difficult time, but has now secured a trophy.
“I will continue to listen into games and I hope that Coleraine reach another cup final next season."
Coleraine FC Chairman Colin McKendry commenting on the visit of the Irish Cup to David Knipe said,
“Coleraine Football Club is renowned for being at the heart of this community.  It is lifelong supporters such as David who have ensured this is the case over the years.
“We were delighted to be able to bring the cup to David and the club would like to thank Jim Boyce for doing so on our behalf.
“I don't think the Irish Cup has visited so many places before. We have had it in schools, care homes, local football clubs, in fact it has necessitated us to open a dairy such is the demand."
St James' nurse manager Bronagh Barker credited the club for going the 'extra mile' for David in the aftermath of the Irish Cup triumph.
"We contacted the club and explained David's situation, and asked whether or not there was any chance we could get him to the final," she said.
"They were more than happy to help out. We then asked if there was any chance of surprising David with the trophy, and again it was a case of when and not if.
"One of the club officials Jim Boyce brought the trophy in yesterday, and the club really have gone the extra mile.
"A lot of the staff knew what was happening, but David didn't have a clue. It was a real surprise for him."


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