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04th Mar 2017

After the TV cameras switched off, one Glenswilly fan captured Shane Williams’ moving farewell to Donegal

What a gent

Patrick McCarry

“Between me and Michael, who has to go down to the South of France, I think I got the best deal, to be honest!”

Shane Williams left a deep impression on the people of Donegal and all involved at Glenswilly GAA.

The former Wales and Lions winger came over to Donegal to immerse himself in the world of Gaelic games as part of AIB GAA’s The Toughest Trade programme, which saw Michael Murphy try his hand at Clermont Auvergne.

Williams threw himself right into the training sessions, work experience in Murphy’s sporting goods store and preparation for a challenge match [in blizzard-like conditions] against local rivals. On the night of the big game, he scored 0-4 to finish as Glenswilly’s top scorer.

He was also an absolute gent…

What the TV cameras missed, however, was Williams’ brilliant, moving words after his outing for Glenswilly. At the post-match presentation in the clubhouse, where a few sociables were consumed, Williams stood up and said:

“I didn’t know much about Gaelic football. I didn’t know much about Donegal and the area but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

“I’ve got a total respect for Gaelic football. These guys are so fit – they’ve got to cover a far bigger pitch than I used to in rugby. I didn’t realise that before I came here. I didn’t realise how much running I’d have to do as well! I loved every second of it.”

Williams praised everyone in the area for coming together and staging a night of music and dancing in his owner. He continued:

“We really don’t get that as much at home any more – that community and that closeness you have is really unique and I would cherish it because it is a great town and you can see that togetherness here tonight…

“I go home tomorrow but I go home with a smile on my face… I’ll never forget this place and I definitely, definitely will be back.”

Murphy would want to watch his back at Glenswilly now. Williams may return for that No.14 jersey.

Thanks to Geraldine Driver for sending this our way. If you have any pieces of content you’d like to share with us, hit us up on Facebook or Twitter or send us an email at [email protected].

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