A DAY before skateboarding legend tied the knot at a wedding bash in Adare, Tony Hawk visited the Raw Cycles skatepark to show off his skills on the ramps and halfpipes.
The occasion had been planned more than three months in advance, without management knowing that the world renowned sports star was going to be the special guest until a few weeks ago.
The public did not know that Tony Hawk, (47) was in Limerick until an hour after he and his family had left the private gathering on the Delta Park, Ballysimon Road.
And it wasn’t known until Sunday morning that the skateboarding pioneer had said his wedding vows to his wife Cathy Goodman, at the Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort.
For Rory O’Connor, of Raw Cycles, he was thrilled that the world’s most famous skateboarder would put their venue “on the wedding itinerary”.
“It was a great opportunity for us to get our name out there. He really just wanted to have the craic with his family, but at the end he posed for photos and signed autographs,” he said.
“Around three months ago, we were contacted and were asked to be available to put up a private event for a visitor, and we didn’t know that it was going to be Tony Hawk until around a month ago. We actually didn’t know why he was in the area at first,” Rory explained.
Local skateboarder Stephen McGuane had the opportunity to take photos of this exclusive event. But when he was called to attend after a skating trip in Barcelona, he admitted that he did not know what he was going to be taking photos of.
“I didn’t find out that he was going to be there until I was there. I was back from a skating trip in Barcelona with my friends, and before I had left, I was asked to come over on the Friday for when I was back, so I could shoot some photos of some people that are coming.
“So naturally I was like, ‘Alright, grand, not a bother.’ And when I got there, it turned out to be Tony Hawk. I was just starstruck - he’s the most well-known, biggest name in skateboarding. And in Limerick of all places,” he added.
On Saturday, Tony and his son Riley, who is also widely known for his skating skills, shared videos and photos of their activities at the resort.
On Sunday, the star posted on his social media, “Tying the Celtic knot with my best friend”, which reached out to his four million followers on Twitter. Also seen in Adare at the weekend was Hollywood star Johnny Knoxville, who travelled over for the wedding.
For more on Tony Hawk’s visit to Limerick, pick up this weekend’s Limerick Leader.