The Croke Park Classic football game between Penn State and University of Central Florida will be a magic event but even more so for kickoff specialist – and West Cork-born – Sean Galvin.
In his past two games for UCF Galvin has recorded nine touchbacks and 14 kickoffs making him a player to watch in the upcoming game. Despite his American football prowess Galvin grew up playing GAA football and soccer in Cork before his parents, James and Deborah, sold the family nightclub and sports bar, Jimmy G’s, and moved to the US with Galvin, and his sister Michelle.
Now an up-and-coming American football star, Galvin will return to play in Croke Park. His mother told the Orlando Sentinel that the only thing she could equate it to is “becoming president.”
She said, "It's the top of the top for any Irish athlete to actually play in Croke Park, you know?"
Here Galvin talks about his delight at going home to play at Croker:
Apart from his parents none of Galvin’s Irish family has had a chance to see him play.
He told Knights News, “It’s awesome because my grandparents can’t come over here because they are getting older so they will be able to come watch along with all my cousins.”
Since the game was announced there has been a massive amount of interest and Galvin has had 20 to 30 interview requests, many of these coming from Irish media outlets. However, that’s nothing compared with the number of requests for tickets he’s had from family.
Also, UCF coach George O’Leary has strong roots in Ireland and nearly 70 members of his own extended family from Cork will also be attending the game.
Deborah Galvin added, “There's so many college football teams, how UCF managed to squeeze that in there? We were very fortunate.
“There had to be the luck of the Irish there somewhere."