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Rugby star's loss 'There is a huge part of me that would have loved to have gotten to know him' - Rob Kearney opens up about tragic death of his brother Ross


Rob Kearney

Rob Kearney


Rob Kearney

Rugby legend Rob Kearney has opened up about his heartache over losing his brother older brother Ross.

The Ireland and Lions legend was just two and a half years old when his brother who died tragically following a freak accident in 1988.

Speaking about it for the first time on the Late Late Show, Rob said it was important for him to talk about Ross in order to honour his brother’s memory.

“He was hit by a truck,” Rob told Ryan Tubridy.

“Himself and Richard, my older brother, they were dropping a letter across the road. It was their first time where they were allowed to cross the road.

“It was a big day for the two of them and Dad gave them the letters to post and they went across the road.

“They posted them and then on the way back they found another letter that someone hadn’t posted. So, they picked it up and they came into Dad to ask him a question of what should they do, knowing full well that he would send them off on their second trip.

“And Ross ran ahead onto the road and was hit by a truck, and the rest is history.”

Rob had his brother’s name printed onto the back of his Grand Slam winning jersey back in 2009.

He revealed how having it with printed on the jersey on that big occasion was his father’s proudest moment as a father.

“I haven’t had to endure the scars that mum, dad and Richard have had to, but there is a huge part of me that would have loved to have gotten to know him and to have some of the memories we have together.

“And we share a birthday together which is really nice and I wake up on my birthday and he will always be the first person I think of.

“When O2 asked us in 2009 if we wanted to have any names put on our jerseys, I said ‘yes Ross Kearney’.

“And in some complex way I felt he was out on the field with me.

“Then we got back to the hotel room that night and Mum and Dad and Richard came back to the room with me in Cardiff.

“I was cleaning out my gear bag and I threw Richard the jersey, and I told him to look at the name at the top—and it was Ross Kearney.

“And it is funny Dad will always say that is his proudest rugby moment, better than any medal or try that we have ever given him.”

Online Editors