FORMER LEAGUE OF Ireland striker Eamon Zayed is big news in Iran these days.
The ex-Bray Wanderers and Derry City forward struck a dramatic hat-trick in the Tehran derby for his new side Persepolis against arch-rivals Esteghlal recently.
Zayed was introduced with around 30 minutes remaining and his quick-fire treble for the 10-men of Persepolis sent a crowd of some 90,000 into raptures.
The Dubliner last night revealed however, in an interview with Off The Ball on Newstalk, that his stoppage-time winner caused one young fan to suffer a heart attack and die.
“I have people coming up to me, paying for my dinner, handing me money. Not that much but a bit of money, people coming up kissing me, telling me they love me for such a memorable game. I was on back and front of the newspapers for a few days after the game. Someone handed me a magazine today and the front cover is me in a superman costume which is a bit surreal,” the Dubliner told Eoin McDevitt.
“And actually, and this is bad news, one of the Persepolis fans actually had a heart attack and died after the third goal went in.
“It’s strange, apparently it’s not uncommon here, there’s so much passion here for the football. They really do love their football here; obviously [in] Iran there’s certain things you can’t do here, so football is huge and everyone pays attention to it and follows it.
“I was told the day after a young fan in his 20s was watching it and he couldn’t believe that we’d turned it around and died. And the club asked me to make a statement in the newspaper just sending my condolences to the family there which is obviously not a nice thing to hear, but it’s an example of how much they sort of follow football and the passion for it.”
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