Earlier this week Josh Daniels posted a touching photo on his Twitter account of him holding his beautiful three-year-old daughter Zahra at Anfield after Shrewsbury Town’s FA Cup match against Liverpool. Cope provided the background for a photo of a loving father kissing his little girl.
Erie native Daniels came in for the final few minutes of the third round of the FA Cup tie and made an impression in perfect form. A football workaholic and one of the most selfless and honest souls you could ever meet, the 25-year-old is known in Irish league circles for dazzling raids on the wing and brilliant goals from his time with Glenavan.
At Anfield he was so eager to join the game that he was booked for a challenge on tough scott Andy Robertson, who was forced to leave the field.
Shrewsbury may have lost 4–1, but for Daniels to play in the iconic stadium in front of more than 50,000 fans, her fiancée Hannah, Zahra, was a moment for family and friends.
“It was a special day. I kept warming up in the hope that I would be ready to experience it on the pitch at Anfield even for a few minutes,” Daniels said from his home in Shrewsbury.
“It was an incredible moment when I was called to move on. I was focused on getting a touch or trying to do something and that’s probably where I got a little bit mad at Robertson.
“I did get a bit of a scuffle from Liverpool fans for this, with people saying I was a fan of United, but the clubs I support are Derry City and Glenavon, the sides I played for.
“After the match Virgil van Dijk came into our dressing room to give a shirt to one of our boys and he said ‘You boys were good today’. He was a top man, an absolute gentleman.
“The whole day was an amazing experience and it was wonderful to play at Anfield. To finish it was class taking a photo with my daughter in the field!”
Daniels says being a father is the ‘best thing in the world’. He may have been a husband by now, but for Covid to stop planned weddings in 2020 and 2021 for dear Hannah who has been there for her man in good times and his mother Ruth (57) and her sister Jodie-Lee (14) The heart of losing is broken. ) in the Bankrana Ghat tragedy in March 2016.
Sean McGrotty (49), partner of Josh’s sister Louise James, and their two boys Mark (12) and Evan (8) also died in the disaster when their car sank after slipping off an algae-covered slipway and into Lough Sleeve. entered. The only survivor was Josh’s niece Ryoghnach-Ann.
“My partner Hannah has been with me the whole time and the credit goes to her because it was a tough year after what happened. She did all this with me and helped me a lot. Now we have a beautiful daughter too and we are on our own all the time.” Let’s talk about family,” says the Shrewsbury player.
“My mother was my biggest supporter. He had no idea about football but he always kept me right. When I went to Shrewsbury a few years ago I was a little overwhelmed when I signed my contract and was alone in the hotel.
“It was an overwhelming feeling because I told her that I would go to England. That was my goal and she knew. So it was overwhelming for me to be here. I was also proud and thought that my mother and family were there for me.” Would be absolutely happy.
“It was everything I wanted to be a professional footballer and we love it at Shrewsbury. Hannah works here and we’re really settled. I am with the people I love and I love being a father. This is the best feeling ever. We could not imagine life without him. There is nothing that I am not ready to do for my daughter.”
Daniel is a true guy and a pleasure to be around. Popular in football, he also admired outside the game for how he handled the most painful and harrowing experience.
Asked how he’s doing in six years, he replied: “I’m great. Football was my life before and I wanted to come back in two weeks after what happened. It’s my responsibility to make it up to myself.” Don’t let it dominate you. I could crumble or use it and kick. It’s up to me and I’ve tried to turn it into a positive.
“All my close friends and family will tell you that it was a natural thing for me to move on with my life and not let it affect me.
“I wouldn’t say it was the accident that made me that way. I grew up quite strong willed and always focused and knew what I wanted in life and football is what I wanted to do. Thankfully I Got a chance at Derry and Glenvon, then I moved to Shrewsbury.
“Obviously it was a very difficult time but looking back now, the last six years of my life are probably the best six years of my life and I want to try and continue to make my family proud.”
He is the person he is every day. As a footballer he started at Derry City before moving to Glenvon in 2017 and flourished under manager Gary Hamilton.
Daniel appreciates his playing time at Morneview Park and the Lurgan club has offered him opportunities to showcase his undoubted talent.
He’s too polite to say it, but boy was he taken to them and wanted by Linfield and Glentoran before Shrewsbury’s knock in the summer of 2020.
“I was glad I didn’t have to sign for another Irish League club because it would have been awkward to play against Glenavan. I have a good affinity with the fans and the people there were nice to me. I got the confidence to let go and express myself.” Given,” recalled Daniels.
Thankfully Shrewsbury came for me. From day one, I knew that technically I wouldn’t stay away from the boys here, it was just the fitness side that I was nervous about.
“We stopped training at Glenavan in March 2020 when Covid hit and I didn’t do any team training until my first day in August. I was just doing fitness stuff so when I went in I was again like a kid thinking ‘I can’t wait to touch the ball’.
“Things went really well in the beginning. I had the odd prick, but I loved it and rediscovered myself in the sense that I’m not seen as a winger here. I’ve played center midfield, As in false nine, right wing-back, left wing-back.
“I feel like I’ve played eight different positions since I got here. It’s been an incredible learning experience and everything I ever wanted and so much more.”
Told with that versatility that he is giving Leeds and Northern Ireland hero Stuart Dallas a run for his money, Daniels laughs: “I don’t know about it. Stuart is the benchmark. From the Irish league.” I had a similar path to come and now he is in the Premier League which is unbelievable.
“I knew if I worked harder than everyone else I would have a better chance. Some injuries held me back this season and I was out for seven weeks before Christmas but I worked hard to come back And hopefully I can get back on the team and show what I’m all about.
“I never forgive myself if I don’t give my 100 percent. It’s what I dreamed about no matter my age, so I wouldn’t let it pass me and if it meant fielding myself in every game or training then that’s what I would do. ,