Stephen Folan’s tribute

The 2016 League of Ireland season began last Friday, with Galway United taking the early lead in the table as they beat St Patrick’s Athletic 3-1 away from home.

Making his Galway debut was centre-back Stephen Folan. The Galway native spent four years as a trainee with Newcastle United before returning to Ireland, first with Limerick, then Sligo Rovers and Cork City.

In his first season with Limerick, 2013, he wore number 4 before switching to 5 for 2014 and he retained that number when he went to Sligo at the start of 2015. When he signed for Cork City midway through the season, he was given 32. For his new club, he will be number 57, but it’s not a love of Heinz or just a random whim – as he explained to the Irish Daily Mirror’s Paul O’Hehir last Friday, it’s a tribute to his late father, who was born in 1957 and died last September at the age of 57.

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