Wex­ford man’s Buck­ing­ham Palace hon­our

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS - By ANNA HAYES

A WEX­FORD man whose pro­fes­sional soc­cer ca­reer was cut short by bru­tal in­jury 19 years ago found him­self in Buck­ing­ham Palace in recog­ni­tion of his work as a phys­io­ther­a­pist for disability ser­vices in the UK.

Kevin Doyle, from Ash­field Drive and orig­i­nally from Maudlin­town, is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of As­centi, the biggest in­de­pen­dent phys­io­ther­apy provider in the UK. Kevin qual­i­fied as a physio in 2006 and worked with Birm­ing­ham City for three years be­fore team­ing up with the Head Physio at the club to set up their own com­pany.

Through their work with the NHS’s Disability Ini­tia­tive, Kevin found him­self be­ing in­vited to Buck­ing­ham Palace for an au­di­ence with So­phie, Count­ess of Wes­sex, as she is a pa­tron of the Disability Ini­tia­tive. While he had been con­tacted in re­la­tion to the event, a postal in­vite re­ally ham­mered home the sig­nif­i­cance of the oc­ca­sion.

‘ To be hon­est, my wife Emma and in-laws were prob­a­bly more ex­cited than me! But when you get to Buck­ing­ham Palace and see the thou­sands of peo­ple stand­ing out­side, and then you get to walk in through the front door, it is quite spe­cial.’

The re­cep­tion took place in the Bal­cony Room which Kevin ex­plained was a spe­cial treat as it was the most im­por­tant room in the palace. He added that his wife was hav­ing the in­vite framed.

Kevin is the son of leg­endary drum­mer Bill Doyle and Olive Anglim. A tal­ented soc­cer player from a young age, he played his club foot­ball with North End and Wex­ford Al­bion un­der coaches Jack and Denny Carthy, and Wil­lie Fur­long among oth­ers. At the age of 15, he left Wex­ford to join Leeds United and spent three years there, be­fore join­ing Not­ting­ham For­est.

At the time, he was the first Wex­ford man to join an English Premier League team.

How­ever, in 1999, at the age of 19, he suf­fered a ca­reer-end- ing in­jury and had to en­dure a gru­elling treat­ment process in­clud­ing ten op­er­a­tions and a huge amount of physio.

‘I was prob­a­bly lucky not to ac­tu­ally lose my leg,’ Kevin said, adding that dur­ing his physio pe­riod it got him think­ing about pur­su­ing a ca­reer in the area of phys­i­cal ther­apy.

‘When I fin­ished play­ing I was dev­as­tated. It was some­thing I’d al­ways wanted to do. I’d played U15, U16 and 18 for Ire­land and ev­ery­thing was mov­ing along nicely. But these things hap­pen. I started think­ing about physio then and the Player Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion helped me out with fund­ing to go to col­lege in Sal­ford Univer­sity in Manch­ester.’

Kevin worked as a physio with Birm­ing­ham City be­fore set­ting up a com­pany which was sub­se­quently ac­quired by his cur­rent em­ployer As­centi, which op­er­ates all over the UK do­ing 50,000 ses­sions per month.

Kevin lives in Not­ting­ham with his wife Emma and their two boys Sea­mus and Rory. He gets home a cou­ple of times a year and his sons al­ways en­joy two Christ­mas Days - one in the UK, and one in Ire­land with their dot­ing grand­par­ents!

WHEN YOU SEE THE THOU­SANDS STAND­ING OUT­SIDE AND THEN YOU GET TO WALK IN THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR, IT IS QUITE SPE­CIAL

Kevin Doyle, sec­ond from left, chat­ting with Lucy Brown (CEO of the Dis­abili­ity Ini­tia­tive), and So­phie, Count­ess of Wes­sex (Pa­tron of Disability Ini­tia­tive) at Buck­ing­ham Palace.

Buck­ing­ham Palace.

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