When he was six months old, Woody Duff (now four) — son of Shamrock Rovers winger Damien Duff (formerly Chelsea, Newcastle and Fulham) — underwent heart surgery. In a show of gratitude to the hospital that operated on his son, and to help other families that aren’t blessed enough to include a family member with his ball-kicking prowess, Damien Duff will donate the entirety of his 150,000 euro salary to Temple Street Hospital and Heart Children Ireland.
“Every penny I get is going to charity,” said Duff. “I don’t want a penny. I thought it’d be something nice to do because I just want to play football.
“The only thing I’ve taken from Rovers is the loan of a car through Hyundai until I sort my situation out. Otherwise, every penny I get – whether it be bonuses, incentives, appearance money or whatever – is all going to those two charities, 50/50.
“I’ve done a bit in the past with charities, including Heart Children Ireland, because of my son, and it was straightforward enough. I don’t want to make a big story out of it. The charities are close to my heart. My son’s operation took place in London, but the check-ups were here.”
Rather than receive his wages, Damien Duff has asked Hyundai and Pepper Island – Shamrock Rovers’ main sponsors — to send the money directly to the children’s charities.
Being very good at soccer is a noble pursuit. Primarily, because being very good at soccer can lead to people handing you unreasonable sums of money for playing a game. And there’s nothing evil about pursing money, contrary to the last inspirational meme your aunt posted on Facebook this morning. The sin of wealth lies in what you do (or don’t do) with it once you have it. Republican presidential candidate and demon Donald Trump trying to buy Colombian club Atlético Nacional exemplifies the use of money for evil. Damien Duff using his resources to help save the lives of children is wealth used like a gentleman. Can’t be mad at that.