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"He was your biggest supporter!" | Bonner assures Given of father's pride

To represent your country is one thing, but to do it as your friends and family watch on can make...

To represent your country is one thing, but to do it as your friends and family watch on can make the moment even more special for those lucky enough to experience it.

In that vein, there are few players luckier than Shay Given, who had his father around to watch him earn 134 caps for his country.

Speaking at the OTB Sports' Cadbury FC remote roadshow, Given spoke about how he went from the boy who went to matches with his Dad, to the star on the pitch.

"Me and my dad used to go and watch the games ourselves, so I can only imagine how it would feel as a father if his son is playing for Ireland, for the country you supported and used to go and watch," Given explained to host Joe Molloy and fellow guest Packie Bonner.

"It gives you that extra connection. If my son played for Ireland, I wouldn't know what I would do. It would just be the most amazing thing ever," the Donegal man added.

Yet, as proud as he was, like many fathers, Given explained that his dad didn't always vocalise his feelings.

"My dad would never really say he's proud of me," the former Newcastle United goalkeeper revealed, "but I'm sure deep down he's burning with pride."

Jumping in to set the record straight, Bonner assured his Donegal compatriot that he knew his father, Seamus Given, was immensely proud of his achievements.

"Shay your dad was really proud of you!" Bonner exclaimed.

"Any time I spoke to him he was your biggest supporter. And can I say to you, you're around about 6'1", yeah? You're dad always made you 6'5" he was always building Shay up, that he is the number 1."

Bonner also explained that anytime question marks were raised about Given's height or ability, his father would be the first to answer the critics.

"Any challenge on your height – because obviously it was a big thing height-wise – [he'd say jokingly] Shay is 6'5", so he was always a big supporter."

Admiring the bond between father and son, Bonner reflected on his regret that his own father didn't get to witness all he achieved through his career.

"I lost my dad, he died when he was 61," the Italia 90 goalkeeper recalled.

"I had just got in and started playing for the Celtic team. So my dad wasn't actually around during all those times.

"And I can hear exactly what you're saying, I wish he was. Just to experience all those times travelling around the world and seeing you play.

"I don't know how nervous he would have been. And I don't know how your dad was, if he could handle the pressure, maybe as an ex-goalkeeper he was alright.

"When I had my own son Andrew, when he played a little bit, even though he didn't play at a high level, you always wanted him to do well and the pressure was on.

"So, I don't know how my dad would have handled all of that but he wasn't around to witness all the good times and I regret that."

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Cadbury Fc Celtic Packie Bonner Republic Of Ireland Shay Given