Saracens legend Michael Lynagh will be at Twickenham for this Saturday’s Heineken Cup quarter final against Ulster, and the he believes that his former club are in fine fettle for the clash.
“Being an old Saracen myself I hope that they win this Saturday,” he said. “But Ulster have proved to be a very difficult side to beat in this competition over the last few seasons, and they pose a huge threat to Saracens this weekend.”
Lynagh has regularly kept up date with his old clubs matches this season, recently attending the home game against Exeter’ and Lynagh is impressed with Saracens’ form as of late;
“Saracens are on a pretty good run at the moment and have picked up some great results in some big games. The win against Leicester at Welford Road and more recently the victory against Harlequins at home were huge match ups which Saracens have excelled in.”
Lynagh won’t just be at Twickenham on Saturday to watch the game, he will also be raising awareness for The Stroke Association.
Less than a year ago, Lynagh suffered a near fatal stroke and as doctors put it at the time; he didn’t just dodge a bullet, but “a bloody great big cannonball”.
But 12 months later he will be running the 26 miles of London’s streets later this month as part of Team Sky for Stroke.
Team Sky for stroke was the brainchild of Sky Sports Rugby presenter James Gemmell. Having been inspired by Lynagh’s recovery from a severe stroke and also a close family friend, he wanted to do something to raise awareness for stroke and the Stroke Association and so signed up to run the London Marathon.
Lynagh will participate in the London marathon along with seven colleagues’ from Sky Sports, including Gemmell, Dean Ryan and Tyrone Howe, who are seeking to raise money for The Stroke Association
“I and seven of my colleagues from Sky have agreed to raise money for The Stroke Association to help fund a Back to Work project. Our main aim is to employ full time Employment Support Coordinator to who can help liaise with Stroke survivors of a working age.”
Lynagh added: “It will be almost be one year to the day, since I had a stroke. I have been extremely lucky. I survived, and although I have lost about 45% of my sight I function pretty well. There are some people who aren’t so lucky. Once you leave hospital, you are on your own. I was able to rejoin my family, play with my children and return to work. There are many people who can’t do this and there is not a lot of help for them out there.”
“After a stroke, doubt creeps into your mind about who you are and what your self-worth is. It can be a pretty dark place. I know all about this and I was one of the lucky ones. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for others. But I can at least understand a little and sympathise with them and what they are going through.”
Keep a look out for the bucket collectors at Twickenham on Saturday or to show your support for Michael and his Team Sky for Stroke colleagues, Text STROKE 5 to 70300 to donate £5 to the Stroke Association or click here for more information.