How sport can beat bullies and build public spirit

November 08, 2015

The Irish Independent - Ireland
How sport can beat bullies and build public spirit

Richard Johnson's only visit to Ireland was in 1977. One day, with his Irish-American girlfriend Mary Hamilton, he was hitching a lift outside Galway, hoping to make it to Cork. Thinking about that now it seems a tall order, but eventually they were picked up by a man who was heading some, but not all, of their way. He was a doctor who trained in Massachusetts, and so he was immediately drawn to his two passengers' accents.

Where in Massachusetts did you train? asked Richard.

St Vincent's Hospital, in Worcester.

That was Johnson's home town.

The driver continued, fondly ­recalling one particular doctor he trained under while in Worcester. His name was Dr Robert ­Johnson, who had been a huge influence on him and his career.

Dr Robert Johnson, laughed Richard incredulously, was my father.

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