Shamrock Rovers Manager Stephen Bradley contemplated leaving his job after his son was harassed by opposition due to his cancer diagnosis.
Mr Bradley told The Hard Shoulder his nine-year-old son Josh has been dealing with leukaemia “brilliantly” since he was diagnosed over a year ago.
“He's going about his business and living his life like any nine-year-old would,” he said.
While the family have been dealing with the diagnosis well, Mr Bradley came to realise his job meant he and his family will be targeted.
In May 2023, following a match against Cork City FC, several Cork fans began harassing Mr Bradley’s son.
“There was a number of [Cork City] fans at the local pub and they started giving myself, my wife and Josh in particular a lot of abuse regarding his illness and treatment,” he said.
“They really hit me and the family hard.
“It's the lowest of the low to behave in that way and say the things they said about any person, but regarding a sick young kid, it’s obviously disgusting.”
'You can't let these people win'
Following this attack, Mr Bradley said he considered leaving his role as manager of Shamrock Rovers FC for his family.
“We had a three-hour bus journey and all the way up I was thinking ‘how do I protect Josh... if I take myself out of the position I'm in, Josh doesn’t have those things being said about him’,” he said.
“The only way I felt I could protect Josh was taking myself out of the spotlight.
“[But] you can’t allow these people to win and think it’s acceptable to speak and behave the way they did that night.”
“It's about coming out and showing support across the country,” Mr Bradley.
“It’s about celebrating people that have survived cancer, people going through cancer, and we have people there who have lost loved ones to cancer.
“You have every stage of it, and it’s great to have people there to share their stories and offer support.”
Mr Bradley said the Irish Cancer Society has offered support to his whole family, and he wants to return the favour.
“You find out very quickly that every family will be touched by cancer, whether they have been, or they will be in the future,” he said.
“When you're touched by it you see how important it is.”
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