Robbie Keane’s Euro adventure didn’t go so well. The Republic of Ireland lost all three of their games, scored only one goal, and left Polkraine with nothing to show for their trouble but the experience. Even worse for the Irish soccer community, a young fan named James Nolan went missing and was found dead in the Bydgoszcz Canal. So when Robbie Keane got back to LA and scored his first goal for the club in more than three months, he dedicated it to the memory of James Nolan.
With the jersey pre-made, Keane certainly would have pulled it out at some point during (or immediately after) the match if he hadn’t scored. But the fact that he did, and was able to display the shirt as a natural part of the celebration, made it all the more special.
James’s funeral was today in his hometown of Blessington in County Wicklow. Hundreds of mourners paid their respects, including several members for the Ireland team. With Robbie otherwise detained with the Galaxy, Claudine Keane attended his stead.
Robbie intends to send the jersey to Nolan’s family.
“It was a young Irish fan who went to Poland, 21 years of age, and unfortunately drowned. Obviously, the whole country was sad and I called his father today to send my condolences and to say that my thoughts were with him and the family.
It was just a gesture because the Irish people are very close and they stick with each other through good times and bad times. He was a big, big soccer fan and it was a shame, so it was just a show of respect really.”