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Recovery Promising young footballer who suffered horrific acid attack now 'flourishing' in the US

Tega was just 19 when acid was thrown in his face in a horrific attack on a Waterford estate

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Tega with the trophy he won. Picture: Eire Guide

Tega with the trophy he won. Picture: Eire Guide

Tega with the trophy he won. Picture: Eire Guide

A promising young footballer, who suffered horrific facial injuries after an acid attack in April 2019, has been pictured with the trophy he received after helping his college win their regional championship. 

Two years ago Tega Agberhiere (21) and his friend Pádraig Sullivan had acid thrown on them by a pair of teenage attackers in Waterford city. The friends were both injured, with Agberhiere, a promising footballer, suffering burns to his face and eyes.

However, he moved on after the horrifying attack and later realised his dream of studying and playing in America when he he earned himself a place with Western Texas College.

Since then he has been “flourishing”, according to the Éire Guide, a Facebook page that features the ROI Player Tracker, that keeps fans informed about “all the Boys in Green playing overseas”.

“We have been tracking Tega for some time and he is just flourishing out in Texas,” they said. “His Western Texas College won the regional championship and that is the trophy Tega received.”

Tega has left the horrific events of two years ago behind him when he was attacked at just 19-year-of-age after an altercation on a Waterford estate.

The talented winger received treatment for horrific injuries to his face, eye and other parts of his body after gardaí said “a corrosive substance” was used.

After receiving support from the wider football community, including the then Irish senior manager Mick McCarthy, he returned to playing with Waterford FC before an opportunity to move to the US arose.

Agberhiere, who played with local club Villa before his move to the Blues, was studying at the Waterford IT as part of the FAI ETB programme, ahead of his transfer to Western Texas College.

“I’m grateful to get this opportunity to fulfil my football dream to make the move to the USA,” he said at the time.

“To get the deal done is fantastic. The past year has been a difficult time for me but football has been good to me in trying to rebuild myself.

The support from my family, friends and everyone at Waterford FC was unreal and that pushed me on to get back on the right track. Having good people around me was key and had a good impact on things education-wise.”

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Garda Commissioner Drew Harris later apologised to Tega and his friend after gardai failed to consult them before deciding their attackers would be dealt with by a juvenile diversion programme.

The family appealed the decision that the attackers be treated as juveniles instead of facing criminal charges, and took judicial review proceedings in the High Court against an Garda Síochána.

The two cases were settled with Drew Harris agreeing to pay all legal costs.

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