There were many special moments on Saturday night as Dundalk FC lifted the EA Sports Cup for the first time in 12 years - but the event was extra special for young Cillian Moran.
Cillian, himself a sportsman, having competed in the Special Olympics, was basking in the glory of his team’s victory over Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park.
The players were euphoric , yet amongst the wild celebrations on and off the pitch, midfield Keith Ward took the time to seek out Cillian and place his cup winners medal around the lifelong Dundalk FC supporter’s neck.
It was a lovely touch from the player, who was more than happy to share the moment with a fan who is well known to the club and players a like.
“It was no problem at all,” Keith Ward told the Democrat. “His ma was very nice about it. Cillian’s a great lad. He comes up to us in the stand and sits with us. Many’s a time he has kept us company.
“Yeah, it is a great year and that was just the start of it. Everyone’s rearing to go especially after this.”
Cillian’s mother and Dundalk FC mega-fan Senator Mary Moran was delighted to see her son at the heart of the celebrations, a sight that moved her to tears.
“Yes I was completely overwhelmed when Keith ran up to Cillian after the match and put the medal around his neck and said that s for you buddy - it actually reduced me to tears .
“Keith Ward is a young player not much older than Cillian himself and I am so touched at his generosity and thoughtfulness Indeed all of the Dundalk team are amazing.
“At the last match of the season last year they presented him with a signed jersey completely unexpectedly
“They include Cillian and other children and encourage inclusivity in everything.
“Cillian lives for Dundalk FC and I am so grateful to the players and management who have included him on summer camps for the last number of years.
“Win lose or draw they are an amazing squad and true sportsmen.
“Recently I had experience of trying to have Cillian included in another activity but unfortunately he did not receive a positive response , so Saturday night’s gesture was extra special”