Kevin Kilbane pays tribute to Manchester United’s David Moyes over Down Syndrome support

Kevin Kilbane says he will always respect Manchester United manager David Moyes for his help when his daughter was born with Down Syndrome in 2004.

Moyes knew Kilbane as a 16-year-old at Preston North End and went on to manage the Irish international at Everton.

When Kilbane’s daughter Elsie was born, it meant the midfielder had to take time away from training and away from the game, something Moyes supported him with.

“It is one of the reasons I respect David Moyes so much, because of how wonderful he was with me at that time,” Kilbane told the Daily Telegraph.

“David Moyes had some quiet words to me if he thought he needed to but he didn’t put me under any pressure.

“He’d known me since a lad of 16 at Preston and knew there was no need to make a fuss around me.

“He trusted me to look after myself.”

Kilbane feels he couldn’t have been at a better club at that time of his life, thanking Moyes and the players for their support.

Elsie is now 10 and is in a mainstream school preparing to go to high school. Kilbane says the years have flown by.

He admits he did consider walking away from football, but instead threw himself into the game.

“Over that 18-months period after Elsie was born, I probably had the best period in my career,” the Irishman said.

“You play, you get on with it, you go through life like that.

“Looking back it might have been better for me psychologically to have had that time out.”

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and Kilbane praises the work done by The Down Syndrome Association.

The midfielder though says the government need to do more to support parents.

“The Government don’t make it easy for you,” Kilbane said.

“The (prospective new) school says she’s now got to jump a year and be with girls of her age.

“It’s financially better for the council – it’s absolutely ridiculous.

“There are always obstacles the authorities want to put in your way.”

Above picture: Indonesian children with Down syndrome take part in mass hand washing as they celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, 2014 in Surabaya, Indonesia. Today marks the ninth anniversary of World Down Syndrome and focuses on supporting all people with Down syndrome on their right to access healthcare without discrimination and with proper assessment of the specific health needs of the individual.

Main image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.

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