Jon Walters speaks movingly about how much Amhrán na bhFiann means to him
Jon Walters is receiving a lot of love and support after his quite astounding interview.
The Burnley and Ireland forward is one of the most liked players in the game and his poignant, honest words in an interview with Henry Winter will only gain him more supporters.
Walters is featured in The Times today, in a wide-ranging and soaring read on his life on and off the pitch.
The 33-year-old was born in Moreton, England but always had a deep connection with Ireland. His mother, Helen Brady, was from Dublin and often brought the family over to County Louth. Many summers were spent with Walters' uncle Jimmy Brady and his family.
Helen Brady passed away, from cancer, when Walters was just 11. The forward explained that his decision to play in the green jersey was made years before he was even offered his first professional contract. His comments just show how much hearing the national anthem Amhrán na bhFiann means to him.
"When my mother died, I promised I’d play for Ireland. For her.
"It’s very emotional when I hear the Irish national anthem.
"It was a very tough time. We didn’t know [how ill she was] until a couple of weeks before she died. We got pulled in, and told this is going to happen with mum. I remember crying for two days. Non-stop. My mum was in the hospice."
As Winter writes it, Walters needed to stand up and open a window in the room the interview was taking place. The emotion of that revelation hit him like a wave. He continued:
"We all have a wall, don’t we? What’s so hard is I remember the days vividly. I went to see my mum in the hospice after she passed away, and the next day, I went straight back into school, carried on as if everything was all right."
The Premier League star admits he never really stopped to dwell on the passing of his mother and only his own wife, Jo, has ever gotten to fully hear his thoughts on the matter. His intention is to go back to university when his football career winds up and study psychology, in and effort to help him properly reflect on his mother's passing, and other matters in his life.
There is so much more in the interview and we would recommend seeking it out.
The consensus was that Walters has done something commendable by being so open in his interview.
Always had a lot of admiration for Jon Walters, admire him more after this. Great interview https://t.co/nJayCD9S9m
— Philip Weafer (@weafer_philip) August 19, 2017
Remarkably open from Jon Walters on his mum's death, stealing money at Blackburn and how parenthood changed himhttps://t.co/6K3hwjBeiz
— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) August 19, 2017
Great, honest interview from Jon Walters. Complete respect
— Rich (@Rich1878) August 19, 2017
Walters is already revered in Ireland. This frank, unflinching interview adds to his legend.