Amy Lee proud to lead Cork out at Croker for Piarsaigh and her family

Having lived in London as a child, Lee moved to the northside and immediately fell in love with camogie
Amy Lee proud to lead Cork out at Croker for Piarsaigh and her family

Cork’s goalkeeper Amy Lee and Lorraine Bray of Waterford with referee Ray Kelly at the coin toss before the All-Ireland semi-final. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

WHEN Amy Lee leads Cork out onto the pitch in Croke Park on Sunday there will be no one prouder than her mother Angie.

Every parent is extremely proud when their child plays in an All-Ireland final, but for a woman who single-handedly raised her two daughters, she is sure to have a beam from ear to ear.

Amy’s early years were spent living in south London before moving back to her mother’s birthplace while still a child. She picks up the story.

“My mam decided it was best for us to come home. We were living in a block of flats in Camberwell London up until I was about 10, and weirdly enough the flats caught fire about a year afterwards. It was one of the worst tower block fires until Grenville.”

Six people died in the blaze including three children.

My mam has stories about the area in that if the lifts were broken you wouldn’t go down the stairs because you wouldn’t know who would be on them.”

There’s just Amy, her sister, and her mam in the tightknit household. Her mother came home as a single mother after Amy’s parents separated.

“To be fair my dad’s family were always very good to us in London. My dad was probably in and out. I’m in contact with him and he follows my career, I’ll get the odd text.”

Angie came back to Farranree and set down roots in Fairfield Meadows, just above Na Piarsaigh GAA club and as soon as she unpacked her bags Amy was on the pitch.

“I remember having a hurley, I don’t know if my uncle’s friend made it; it was a block. But I flaked away and loved it.”

On Sunday Amy will lead Cork out in the All-Ireland senior final, the only Na Piarsaigh player ever to do so. Not just for Amy, but for her mother it must be an incredibly proud moment.

“Oh, she’s my biggest fan. She got tee-shirts printed for the last match in Páirc Uí Rinn with me on the front and a picture of the team on the back,” she laughs. “She loves it. She couldn’t be any prouder of me.”

Cork captain Amy Lee raises the Munster trophy after defeating Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork captain Amy Lee raises the Munster trophy after defeating Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

At 26 years of age. Amy recalls not making the minor panel when she was 17 and was gutted. She made it the following year, losing the All-Ireland final replay to Kilkenny.

I was called up then to the intermediate side and before I knew it, I was down in the Mardyke playing my first senior game in 2015. I learned so much being understudy to Aoife Murray.
“I’ll never get training like that again. It makes the world of difference and I hope Molly Lynch is now learning a few bits from me.”

Roll forward to 2021; Seandún win the senior county championship and Amy is handed the Cork captaincy for 2022. She was inundated with phone calls of congratulations.
Now heading in the final what are the feelings?

“On game day the captaincy won’t even come into my mind. I’ll concentrate on my game. It will mean everything to walk up the steps. I think I’ll be crying at that stage.

“Not just for me but for my mam and my club. They’ve been fantastic. I’m afraid though of the tee-shirt my mam might rock up in.”

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