Dublin defender Jonny Cooper opens up about being attacked in 2014 and how he would forgive the man responsible
On September 20th 2014 on his way home from a night out with friends, Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper was attacked. The incident happened in the early hours of the morning on Dorset Street in Dublin. Jonny was rushed to the Mater Hospital and thankfully was released later that day.
A year later, Mark Lavelle, originally of Bollingbrook, Swinford, pleaded guilty at Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court to the attack. Lavelle was subsequently jailed for 5 years on 2015.
Earlier today, Cooper appeared on Jennifer Zamparelli’s radio show on 2FM. And in a rare turn, opened up on how the attack changed his life.
“I was robbed obviously and my stuff was taken but I was attacked at the same time.” Cooper explained to Zamparelli.
“I can’t remember how many stab wounds, I actually never fully asked. But I think it’s 11 or 13 or something like that, on my neck and eyes and ear.”
Cooper went on to explain how bizarre the incident was and also how those few hours changed his world. And also how the incident really changed his perspective.
“I guess at the time playing football for Dublin…we all have egos but it certainly kind of makes that a little bit bigger and from my position, where I was at the time I probably thought I was a little bit better and a little bit bigger.”
“It made me realise, I guess, the important things and who’s important and what’s important”.
“I would have felt at that particular stage of my life I was getting a little bit too ahead of myself. And obviously it’s not something you want to happen in terms of a lesson but at the same time it was such an important and a big lesson for me at the time.”
As Lucky As Cooper Feels, He Would Forgive
Cooper admits sometimes getting up early in the morning or training late you sometimes think ‘Well hold on a minute, it could be very different.”
“You could have no sight in your eye and your hearing in one ear could be gone. And you couldn’t be able to play”.
“Again, it’s all easy to say now but certainly it was a massive lesson.”
Zamparelli changed her questioning to the matter of whether he ever forgive Lavelle for the attack.
“Yeah I think so”.
“I don’t know what he was going through. I don’t know exactly his circumstances but no doubt he has his own challenges that he maybe is finding difficult or found difficult at the time.”