Goalkeeper’s wife has twin girls. As his Newport team-mates were celebrating a stunning FA Cup win over Championship side Middlesbrough on Tuesday, goalkeeper Joe Day was sprinting down the tunnel after hearing his wife had gone into labour. It summed up a remarkable win for the League two team, who will now face Premier League champions Manchester City in the fifth round on Saturday, 16 February. Add to the mix the former shelf-stacker who scored the opening goal and a pitch that has already hosted more than 50 games this season – there was FA Cup magic in the air in South Wales. Day missed the first tie at Riverside Stadium on 26 January because of the possibility of his wife Lizzie going into labour. Fast-forward 10 days and with Mrs Day seemingly no closer to giving birth to twins, Mr Day opted to play against Middlesbrough and was recalled to the side.
Manager Michael Flynn says his goalkeeper wanted to focus, so “turned his phone off
Manager Michael Flynn says his goalkeeper wanted to focus, so “turned his phone off,” only to get the news immediately on full-time that his wife had indeed gone into labour. “‘Please can I leave gaffer?’ – he asked me that straight after the game finished,” Flynn said. “He sprinted off the pitch and it’s the quickest I’ve ever seen him move.” Goalscorer Padraig Amond told reporters. “They’ve had two healthy baby girls so congratulations to Joe and his partner Lizzie and the two little girls as well. Winger Robbie Willmott returned to Newport in 2017, having been part of the side promoted to the Football League in 2013, when he was a team-mate of his current manager. The 28-year-old was released by the Exiles in 2014 and after spells with Ebbsfleet, Bishop’s Stortford and Chelmsford, he quit the game and took a job in his local supermarket. Willmott, who house-shares with team-mates including Joss Labadie across the road from Rodney Parade, says he never expected to enjoy a night like beating Middlesbrough.
“I’ve had highs and lows, but everyone knows what the club means to me and my bond with supporters
“I’ve had highs and lows, but everyone knows what the club means to me and my bond with supporters,” Willmott said after scoring his first goal of the season. “I never imagined this, I could not have dreamed it, I took a lot of things for granted, a lot of pros do, you just think you’ll keep getting contracts… but unfortunately I was cut. “When I was stacking shelves I used to think ‘what have I done?’ A lot of people said I should have played at a higher level, but I was thinking ‘this is probably me now’. I was ready to play part-time and work. “I would have looked back on my career and thought ‘I’ve wasted my career’. But I managed to grind and work hard and got myself back in the league.” His manager Flynn added: “He should have played his career higher.
“He is unbelievable really. I’ve got the best Robbie Willmott now because he is fully focused
“He is unbelievable really. I’ve got the best Robbie Willmott now because he is fully focused, not immature anymore and he is a joy to work with. Even the house that the players all share, he takes responsibility and he has really grown since I first knew him.” “I can’t really explain how I feel at this time. “I’ve been very nervous about this, not because of the game because I knew what it meant for the whole football club, the whole city. These supporters deserve everything because these supporters have been through the mill. It’s a club that I love.”