€10,000 raised for paralysed Young Munster stalwart Leonard Copley

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Leonard Copley, from Raheen, was captain of the winning Munster Junior Cup team in 1984

Leonard Copley, from Raheen, was captain of the winning Munster Junior Cup team in 1984

MORE than €10,000 has noew been raised for Young Munster stalwart Leonard Copley, who was left paralysed after a spinal injury in 2016.

The former Young Munster captain and coach suffers from an incomplete spinal cord injury, following an incident in January 2016, and now requires “intensive” physiotherapy treatment. 

Leonard, a mentor of rugby icon Paul O’Connell, hopes to receive a unique form of therapy at the First Step Therapy Centre in Patrickswell.

And his family and friends hope to raise €30,000, in order to pay for his therapy which fundraisers say is not available in the public system

Former clubmate Johnny Moloney said that after a successful career with Young Munster, in which he captained the side to Junior Cup glory in 1984, the Raheen man coached Paul O’Connell and former Munster player Mike Prendergast to their Junior Cup victory in 1999.

On the GoFundMe page, rugby legend O’Connell described Leonard as a “friend, mentor and an advisor”.

“I was part of the Young Munster Junior cup team, coached by Leonard Copley, that won the 1999 Munster Junior Cup. To this day it counts as one of my most enjoyable years as a rugby player, professional or amateur. This was in large part down to Leonard who was so much more than a coach to the team.

“He was a friend, a mentor and an advisor. He remained all these to me as I passed from the amateur to the professional ranks.

His advice and friendship has been a tremendous asset to me throughout the ups and downs of my professional career with Munster, Ireland and the Lions. 

I am delighted to help in any way i can to ensure Leonard receives the vital treatment he requires,” he said on the GoFundMe page.  

Around €10,000 has been raised. Mr Moloney said that the response has been “brilliant. 

There is a strong rugby community out there, very much like a rugby family, and they all want to help.

“And it has given Leonard a major boost, he is delighted with the reaction.”