Glenavon send best wishes after defender's family involved in 'serious' car crash

Michael Scott

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Michael Scott

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info@yourlurgan.com

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has sent his best wishes to defender Calum Birney's wife and family after they were involved in a serious car crash yesterday.

The defender missed last night's 2-0 win over Dungannon Swifts following the accident.

After Birney and goalkeeper Declan Brown pulled out of the squad, Hamilton was forced to name himself amongst the substitutes.

“I thought it was going to be one of those days,” Hamilton told Glenavon's YouTube channel after the game.

“Decky Brown messaged me earlier in the day. He has come in close contact with a guy at work who has contracted COVID so he had to go and get a PCR test. He wasn't allowed to report tonight.

“Calum Birney's wife, child and her mum and dad were in a serious car accident. The news at this minute in time is that they are all OK – the car is a write-off, and obviously our thoughts are with them.

“He was due to start the game, so Andy Doyle, who wasn't due to be involved, travelled down and said 'Listen gaffer, I'll play for you tonight – I'll go through the pain barrier for you'.”

Last night a club statement said: “Glenavon Football Club extends its thoughts to player Calum Birney who was called away before kick-off due to family members being involved in a car accident. No one was seriously injured and we hope for a speedy recovery for everyone involved.”

Hamilton paid tribute to Doyle's character for playing while injured.

“If you could see his foot in there, it's mental,” he added.

“Sometimes people can be critical of Doyler at times and I think it's so unfair because the guy gives every single thing he has for this football club.

“I just love him as a character. For somebody to see their team mate in difficulty like that because his partner's had an accident and put himself forward to play when he shouldn't have been involved is unbelievable and that's as big a testament as I can play to him.”

Asked if he was disappointed not to get a game himself, the Glenavon boss joked, “The manager didn't think he was good enough to come on!”

The Lurgan Blues won only their fourth game of the season at Stangmore Park last night thanks to goals from Andrew Waterworth and Peter Campbell – read our match report here.

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