SUMO IS BIG DADDY
Steve McNulty leaves Luton for Tranmere to see more of his kids
STEVE McNULTY says the only reason he left Luton Town was to become a proper dad again.
So long, Sumo. The Hatters hero – nicknamed that by the Kenilworth Road faithful who fell for their deceptively nimble defender – on Monday shocked League Two by announcing he was dropping back into the Conference.
The Liverpool-based 32-yearold signed for Tranmere Rovers despite being a fixture in Luton’s line-up for the past three years.
McNulty and wife Vicky had a second child a year ago and the meaty centre-back says last week he had the biggest decision of his life to make.
He told Hatters boss John Still he wanted to return home and the manager refused to stand in his way.
McNulty told The FLP: “I just decided I couldn’t take living apart from the family any longer. I have been away from the kids for three years now – I need to be a dad again.
“Last year we had our second girl, Lilia. My eldest Ava is now six. It just hit me, I had to be there to pick them up from school or do the family things many parents take for granted.The moment was always going to arrive and it’s here now.
“My eldest knows daddy plays football and understood, but I didn’t want my youngest put through the same thing. I want to do dad things and be there to say goodnight. “It’s been hard for Vicky, she hasn’t really got to have a life. She’s done it for so long without me, it’s only fair now it’s my turn – she deserves a break… she can forget the kids now and get back to looking after me full-time!
“Sometimes I would finish the game on a Saturday, go back to them and drive back south after the kids had gone to bed on the Sunday night. Playing football for a living you shouldn’t complain, but it was a challenge.
“Mind you, I’ve only been back a few days and they’re already driving me up the wall!”
His ears may not get much rest should Tranmere fans pick up on his catchy terrace chant.
“My eldest still shouts ‘Suuuuumo! ’at me like the Luton fans did,” the former Fleetwood man added. “I remember last year Ava came down to a game and said ‘daddy, daddy, they call you Sumo because you’re so fat!’
“I told her that I know, but she still likes calling me it at home. The Tranmere fans are welcome to sing it – our youngest will pick it up from her sister anyway.”
FAMILY AFFAIR: Steve McNulty with his daughter Ava