Goalie proud of 'Shay Gibbon' namesake

Published Wednesday, 06 June 2012
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Just days ahead of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 campaign opener, goalie Shay Given may have little time for monkeying around, but he has been tweeting about his pride after a baby gibbon was named in his honour.

Goalie proud of 'Shay Gibbon' namesake
Goalie Shay Given and his little namesake Shay Gibbon. (© Getty/Neil Danton)

The new-ish arrival at Fota Wildlife Park near Cork City has actually been without a name for three months, until a public vote on Facebook found the perfect moniker for the little tot.

And while some people might be unsure whether to take having a gibbon named after them as a compliment, the Republic star seems pretty chuffed.

After being 'introduced' via Twitter, he replied using the hashtag #honoured with a greeting for his little namesake.

His wife Jane also tweeted: "He's SO cute. It would be lovely to bring our 'little monkeys' to visit him x."

There is one complication though, as the little gibbon's protective mummy has prevented staff from finding out if the addition to the wildlife park's family is a boy or a girl.

But they say, if it is a girl, they'll simply change the spelling to Shea - like one of the female characters in popular television series Game of Thrones.

For now though, 'Shay Gibbon' is sure to prove a hit.

"We got over 100 name suggestions through our website and we narrowed it down to four in the end," Stephen Ryan from Fota Wildlife Park said.

"We're delighted with the name Shay and hopefully he might bring some luck to the lads in Poland next week."

With fears allayed on Wednesday over Given's fitness, it looks like it might be working already ...

The Republic are set to take on Croatia in Poznan on Sunday, with goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly sticking with the animal theme and stating that "wild horses" wouldn't keep Given off the pitch.

© UTV News
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