Wednesday star Caolan Lavery has revealed his worry over a cancer scare for his mother and told why he dedicated his two superb goals against Birmingham to her.
He celebrated by peeling off his shirt to show a vest bearing the message ‘get well soon mum.’
Mrs Lavery has had a operation to remove a lump from her breast.
Caolan’s family are in Canada, where he was brought up by Irish parents, and he has been keeping in touch with them in their home of Red Deer, Alberta, by phone.
He chose his get-well message as a surprise for his convalescing mum, Moia, and planned to transmit a photograph to her by text or e-mail.
“She’s doing all right,” said the 21-year-old. “She had a bit of a lump in her breast so they just removed that. She’s just recovering from that. The two goals were for her.
“I think she got out of hospital a couple of days ago. I think it was cancerous, not too sure. She had to get her ovaries removed as well. I’m not sure of the details
“So it’s been a rough couple of weeks.”
He says that playing football has been a release from the off-field concern: “It takes away everything that happened outside the pitch, takes your mind off things.”
But he admitted: “It was a bit difficult speaking to her and speaking to my family and stuff.
“She’s always been there, for all us, I have three brothers and two sisters. She’s always been a very strong person.
“They phone me a couple of times a week.”
The Northern Ireland Under 21 international feels that the worry has not affected his game - and he was certainly in form on Saturday when he starred in a 4-1 victory.
It came after he was penalised for Wigan’s match-winning penalty against the Owls last week.
He reflected: “I was devastated, I thought I did all right up to that moment. I think he (Wigan defender James Perch) kicked me and we’ve both gone down, so I think it was debatable. But everyone was really good with me.” They said ‘keep your head up; it happens to everyone.’ So when I found out I was starting against Birmingham, I thought ‘this is a good chance to make amends.”
He agreed that it may have been his best game for the club: “Possibly. I think I’ve been all right, since I’ve been playing, but goals speak volumes, so maybe it was.”
Manager Stuart Gray said his goals were “fantastic”, praised the whole team, and targeted another good show against QPR at Hillsborough tomorrow.