Keane pays tribute to Nolan
CARSON, Calif. (AP)
Ireland captain and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane paid tribute to the family of Irish soccer fan James Nolan after scoring a goal in the Galaxy's 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
Nolan, 21, of Blessington, County Wicklow, who was in Poland to follow Keane and the Irish national team during their European Championship run went missing on Sunday and his body was found on Wednesday in a canal in Northern Poland after an apparent accidental drowning.
Keane's tribute came after his goal in the 30th minute as he ran toward the club's bench where he was handed a Galaxy shirt that read ''RIP James Nolan'' on the back.
For the 31-year-old Irish captain, who has made 120 appearances with Ireland, scoring 53 goals, the gesture was important for his grieving nation.
''It was a young Irish fan who went to Poland, 21 years of age, and unfortunately drowned. Obviously, the whole country was sad and I called his father today to send my condolences and to say that my thoughts were with him and the family,'' said Keane, who intends to send the jersey to Nolan's family in Ireland.
''It was just a gesture because the Irish people are very close and they stick with each other through good times and bad times. He was a big, big soccer fan and it was a shame, so it was just a show of respect really.''