Marc McNulty has revealed how seeing a photograph of his sick son Freddie sporting a Hibs strip had helped him grab his first goal for the Easter Road club.
The striker had spent the days before the Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers mounting a bedside vigil with his partner Jade at the Sick Kids as 20-month-old Freddie was treated for pneumonia.
After an anxious time for the couple, Freddie was allowed home on Friday night and, as he prepared for the game, McNulty was given a further boost when Jade sent him a picture of Freddie in the Hibs strip he’d bought him, complete with “DADDY” on the back.
McNulty, who scored Hibs’ third goal in the 3-1 win which took them into quarter-finals, said: “It has been a tough few days. The wee one got taken into the hospital and there were some long nights there. But my missus has been great. She’s been up there all the time and thankfully he got home on Friday night and we got a good night’s sleep for once.
“When we played Celtic last Wednesday I had to leave the team hotel and was in the hospital for most of the day but to be fair to Jade she was saying ‘Look, he’s in safe hands and there’s not really much you can do so there is no point sitting by the bed. He is going to be fine, so just go and play’.
“That was difficult but it was great to get him home because you then have that peace of mind and I could concentrate on the football.
“I had one overnight in the hospital with him, it was a long haul to save Jade because she had done it for a couple of days so I thought I would stay in the good books and take my turn. Thankfully. I was off the next day.
“Freddie had a bit of pneumonia on his lungs and was struggling to breathe so he was rushed in. Seeing your baby with all those tubes is a bit worrying but the doctors and nurses at the Sick Kids were great.
“It really isn’t nice seeing your wee one like that. It is really worrying and it is tough to then concentrate on football. Your family is the most important thing and to see your little one lying there not well is really not nice. I’m just glad we have got him home thanks to the doctors. I’d got Freddie a Hibs strip during the week with ‘DADDY’ on the back so Jade sent me a picture of him saying ‘good luck daddy’ with his strip on. That gave me an extra wee boost before kick-off.”