Katie Taylor shares Wembley dreams with Ireland team
Lightweight champ Katie defends her crowns in front of the Sky Sports cameras against Miriam Gutierrez of Spain on Saturday night at The SSE Arena, Wembley, next door to the iconic ground.
The 2012 Olympic champion and the Irish football squad are staying at the same hotel and met, in accordance with social distancing rules, on Wednesday morning.
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman presented Katie with the new Umbro Ireland away shirt complete with the number 10 and her name – a throwback to her time with the Irish women’s team.
And Katie showed off her four world title belts to Seamus, fellow Bray hero Darren Randolph, James McClean, Shane Duffy and Jeff Hendrick.
“It was great to meet up with the Irish team and to wish them well ahead of their big match at Wembley tomorrow night,” Katie told FAI TV. “I was thrilled to receive this new Irish jersey, the first of its kind, and it was fantastic to see my name and my old number 10 from my own Ireland career. That means so much to me.
“I’ve been watching Vera Pauw’s Ireland in their bid to reach the European Championships and they were so unlucky against the Ukraine. I know they have a big game now against Germany and I wish them well – they have a top class manager and a great assistant in Eileen Gleeson who I played under many years ago.
“An Irish double at Wembley would be brilliant. We are all fighters and we will be doing our best to achieve that. It was great to see the lads in the same hotel and have a quick 'socially distanced' chat and wish each other luck from our respective bubbles.
“I’ve always had great support from the team over the years and loved my own days playing in the green jersey. Football has given the country some of our greatest sporting moments over the years and hopefully the lads can kick off an Irish double at Wembley on Thursday night. It's a shame of course that we can't have fans right now at sporting events during the pandemic but I know that regardless people will be at home cheering us on and I know that support means a lot to all of us."
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman wished Katie the best of luck for Saturday night on behalf of everyone connected with Stephen Kenny’s Ireland squad. He said: “Katie's an inspiration to the whole of Ireland, I'm looking forward to watching the fight. We wish her well this Saturday.”