Olympics: Darren Sutherland tragedy drives Darren O’Neill
Ireland boxing captain Darren O’Neill says the memory of tragic former middleweight rival Darren Sutherland will inspire the six-strong team to emulate Sutherland’s Olympic heroics at the London Games.
Sutherland was found dead in his London flat just one year after returning from Beijing in 2008 with a bronze medal, and the death of such a popular character continues to have a profound impact on the close-knit Irish boxing community.
Sutherland had beaten O’Neill in the 2008 Irish Senior Championships to reach Beijing, and O’Neill insists he and the rest of the squad will have their former team-mate at the forefront of their minds in London.
“Darren’s death was devastating and it still lingers with us. We trained together many times and had some great fights.
“As far as we are concerned, Darren is still a major part of this team. Before I had my fight to qualify for the Olympics, I said to Darren’s former coach that Darren would be looking down on me today and I do feel that he’s there. Darren is still an inspiration to all of us,” said O’Neill.
The 26-year-old is a qualified teacher at Holy Trinity primary school in Donaghmede who has taken a career break since Christmas to focus on the Games. “The kids have been following me in the papers and on the TV and classroom is covered in posters and banners,” he added,
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North east