06 Dec 2021

Portlaoise boys are Euro 2012 stars

Two Portlaoise schoolboys are getting used to the attention normally reserved for film and television stars.

Two Portlaoise schoolboys are getting used to the attention normally reserved for film and television stars.

Leon Houlihan and Dylan Phelan are two of Laois’ newest stars, having recently appeared in a Daily Mail television ad for their Euro 2012 Championships,

In the ad, the fourth class students in St Paul’s Boys, Portlaoise can be seen playing football on the green, before Leon, who is in goals becomes distracted by the green van, which will take four lucky supporters to Poland next month, and Dylan seizes his opportunity to score a goal.

Leon was chosen by his buddy Dylan to accompany him. Not only are the two boys classmates, they also play soccer together with Portlaoise. The two boys wore their Portlaoise soccer kit for the filming, which they won through a Daily Mail competition last year.

“Dylan absolutely loved the filming, both boys did. They would have stayed there for a month,” Dylan’s mum, Mary, said.

While, Leon’s mum, Louise recalls when the ad first aired.

“We were staying in a hotel in Cork, and we watched it in the hotel. People asked for Leon’s autograph afterwards. Leon’s milking his status and he is loving all the attention from his school, family and friends. It’s a great buzz. He’s really loving it, he’s looking for more ads now,” Louise laughed.

The fan van is travelling around the country, before the winner of the competition is announced shortly.

Last week, the van visited the boys school in Portlaoise. Unfortunately, soccer mad Dylan was in Barcelona watching Messi play and missed out on the celebrations with his friends.

“The school and principal Des Sutton are fantastic. All the fourth class lads get on great. It’s great to have that kind of environment,” Mary Hennesy said.

The boys have also signed the fan book which will be presented to the Irish Soccer team before their match in the Euro Championships.

“My husband Karl was the first to sign it and then the boys signed the book, so hopefully the team will see their messages when they look at the book.”

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