When Derry fans reconvene at The Brandywell this evening they’ll be joined by two supporters who have travelled over 3,000 miles to be part of the side’s return to the Premier Division, writes Laurence McClenaghan.
Husband and wife, Greg and Kiera Waldrip, live in Boston USA however they have come to see the Candystripes begin their Premier League campaign against Derry City. There is also the small matter of US Coast Guard officer, Greg meeting his father-in-law, Seamus for the first time. That however was second on his list of priorities. Within ten minutes of arriving in Derry, incidentally for the first time, he was in the stands of the Brandywell.
Greg was apparently more keen to meet Derry manager Stephen Kenny than his father-in-law!
“Well we’re married already there is nothing he can do now,” joked the American.
Seamus was unable to travel to the wedding in America.
For his part Greg had developed a knowledge of Derry City as he would keep Kiera up to date with scorelines and news on her behalf while she worked shifts in McMorgan’s Bar, Boston.
Greg said: “I couldn’t believe the age of some of the players when I was checking the squad profiles ahead of the Sligo game, Some of them were born in 1991 which I found amazing!”
Kiera, nee McNutt, was born on the Foyle Road and one of her earliest memories was going to the Brandywell with her neighbours.
“I don’t remember who we were playing against in the first game I went to. I was really young but I do remember the atmosphere in the jungle and the colour and excitement throughout the Brandywell.”
Kiera moved to Boston in 2004 and married Greg in April of last year.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all of her family as well as going to the game,” laughed Greg, “they are all Derry fans.
Kiera’s nephew Eoghain is a super-fan and has been filling me in on all the news. It will be exciting,” said the self confessed “Premier League and Manchester City” fan.
So is this is a rare case of a wife dragging her husband (a very long way) to The Brandywell?
“No” laughed Kiera.
“Greg was keeping me up to date with the scores and checking things online for me so that is were his interest stems from. He would be going even if I wasn’t.”
Derry take on Sligo Rovers at The Brandywell this evening, kick-off 7.45pm.