BY CHRIS MCNULTY
KARL Lacey touched down on home soil at the beginning of the week after spending a couple of weeks in the USA – and one piece of fan mail delivered to his Donegal town home in the interim had the 2012 Footballer of the Year in shock.
On Tuesday night, Lacey took to his Twitter account to reveal that he had received a letter of congratulations from the Arsenal manager, ArsèneWenger.
Lacey is a lifelong fan of the ‘Gunners’. While in London for the Donegal Association of London’s annual dinner dance recently, Lacey and Donegal manager Jim McGuinness attended Arsenal’s 3-3 Premier League draw against Fulham at the Emirates Stadium.
Six years ago, he was in the State de France to watch the Champions League final, which Arsenal lost 2-1 against Barcelona.
Now the most decorated Donegal footballer of all time with four All-Stars, two Ulster Championships, an All-Ireland win and a Footballer of the Year Award, Lacey’s achievements have been noted in North London.
Dated 1 November 2012, and sent from the Arsenal Contact Centre at Highbury House, the letter, ‘on behalf of all the players and staff’, congratulates Lacey ‘on recently winning the All Ireland Football Championship in Ireland.’
The letter reads: “I note that you totally committed and dedicated to this sport and that you won the RTE player of the Year Award 2012.
“We understand that you are a loyal Arsenal supporter for which we are very grateful and hopefully we shall soon be bringing trophies to Emirates Stadium.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the future.”
The award referred to is the GAA-GPA Player of the Year award, which was named live on RTE.
Lacey just returned at the start of the week from a couple of weeks in the States, which took in visits to Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Boston. Last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day in America, he and Paul Durcan watched the New England Patriots’ 49-19 American Football win over the New York Jets at the MetLife Stadium.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.