Jayson Molumby has never been difficult to spot in the streets of Cappoquin, the village in the Republic of Ireland where he lives.

“Around here, people will tell you that children walking the streets of Cappoquin would have a hurley and a sliotar (the stick and ball used in the Gaelic sport of hurling)”, explains Martin Reddy, his uncle and the motor of the local rail track and field football club.

“Jayson Molumby was the only boy who was walking around in a soccer ball.

“From an early age he was obsessed with gambling.”

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder was raised in this quiet corner of County Waterford, north-east of Cork – the screaming country for most of the region’s youngsters.

Indeed, his brother, Andy, signed up with the Gaelic Athletic Association and ended up on the Waterford hurling team.

But for Jayson, there was only one sport in town.

He grew up supporting Liverpool, idolizing Steven Gerrard, having a soft spot for Harry Kewell and dreaming of playing at Anfield.

“I remember his very first game,” said Reddy, his proud uncle.

“He was three years old, played for an under-five team, and he wore a jersey with the sleeves trailing on the ground.

“It was blue and white stripes but it was the colors of Railway Athletic, so it was sky blue.

“You could tell at the age of three that he was something special – he was the head and shoulders among everyone we’ve ever had at the club. We weren’t a club with a lot of talented players, but from day one you could tell there was something special about Jayson.

“It all depended on his attitude and application, whether it was his exercises (training) or his matches. If that wasn’t 100% true, he wasn’t happy, and he was like that from the age of five or six.

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