You can do it daddy! Hero Newport goalkeeper who missed historic FA Cup celebrations to be with wife as she gave birth is watched by newborn daughters as his team take on Man City
The hero Newport County goalkeeper who sprinted off the pitch following a historic FA Cup win to be with his wife as she gave birth is being watched tonight by his newborn twin daughters.
Joe Day helped Newport County reach the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in 70 years – but didn’t wait around to celebrate and instead rushed off to be by his wife Lizzie’s side.
The 28-year-old will have extra motivation tonight as his side face Manchester City in the fifth round of the competition because his new daughters Sophia and Emelia are in the crowd.
You can do it daddy! Joe Day of Newport County AFC with wife Lizzie, his newborn twin daughters Sophia and Emelia and his son Harrison, two, before tonight’s match
Joe Day and son Harrison before the fifth round tie against Manchester City tonight
He has started between the sticks for the 5.30pm kick off at the Rodney Parade stadium in Wales.
Day was seen on live television running off the pitch after his side beat Middlesbrough 2-0, setting up a glamour tie with Manchester City and sending team-mates and fans into a frenzy earlier this month.
He knew the birth was imminent but had his phone turned off during the win on Tuesday night, meaning he could not be there for the arrival of Sophia and Emelia.
Joe Day and his wife Lizzie with their twins Sophia and Emelia after he missed their birth while starring in an FA Cup win for his club Newport County earlier this month
The twins were born during the first half of the match and the goalkeeper was unaware
Sophia and Emelia were born after 8pm and their father dashed off the pitch at full-time
And as soon as the final whistle went Day asked boss Michael Flynn if he could dash off to see his family – but he missed the births of the babies who arrived at 8.13pm and 8.35pm – during the first half of the tie at a hospital just two miles away.
‘Nothing was really happening at midday on Tuesday, but as I was driving to the game Lizzie called me to say that her waters had gone.
‘I got to the ground when she was being taken to the labour ward but she told me to concentrate on the game.
‘I didn’t know the girls had been born when I ran off the pitch at the end. Until I got into my car and called Lizzie I didn’t know what was going on as we’d had no contact since before the game, but Lizzie told me that there was two little girls and they were perfect and waiting for me to arrive at the hospital – and we’ve been here ever since.’
Lizzie, who was kept up to date with news of the football game during labour, said: ‘Joe turned up for the nice bit to have cuddles! We’re absolutely over the moon and the midwives have been so good with me. The care here at the Royal Gwent Hospital has been amazing – with Joe not being here, they couldn’t have looked after me more.’
Day had missed his side’s first FA Cup match against Middlesbrough with the birth of the twins imminent. But after the drawn game he decided to feature in the replay 10 days later, despite his wife being long overdue.
After the game the goalkeeper ran over to manager Flynn, hugged his boss and was then ushered down the tunnel in a bid to make it to the hospital.
Speaking to BT Sport after the win, Flynn, when asked if Day was kept up to date, said: ‘Look, the professional that he is, he turned his phone off.
Newport County goalkeeper Joe Day cut short FA Cup celebrations to see his pregnant wife
‘I didn’t hide it believe it or not. I didn’t hide it, he turned his phone off. As soon as the game was over and we won he said ‘gaffer thank you so much, can I go please?’
, the exhausted new father said of his wife: ‘I thought I might get some stick but she’s been great. I’m just so proud of her and my two little girls.
‘I knew their birth was on the cards but I just had to shut everything out for the game.’
He added: ‘We always knew there was a chance the birth would fall during the match, but Lizzie backed me and made it an easy decision for me to play the game.