Shay Given has opened up on the death of his mother, Agnes, in his new autobiography, Shay: Any Given Saturday.

Agnes Given died of lung cancer in 1981.

Shay Given was just four years of age and the fifth of six children under 11 at the time.

The former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper’s new book goes on sale this Thursday. In it, he recalls the memories he has of his mother.

“I’m four years old. A grand-looking woman of just 41, her glossy, jet-black hair falling across her emaciated shoulders, lies in a bed in a Manorhamilton hospital, slap-bang on the N16 in County Leitrim, surrounded by machines beeping, lines feeding, drugs seeping,” Given writes.

“She knows she will not get out of bed again, won’t chase me or any of her other five children, will never get to see them grow up. Her days as a midwife in Strabane are over.

“In fact, most of her days are nearly over.

“The six kids sit looking at each other in misplaced wonder, tripping over the endless gifts handed over by nurses and doctors, all of these professionals hoping that the presents will help solve a problem their medical talents cannot.

“Tugs-of-war over unopened packages break out left, right and centre as the excited children try and forget what is happening, what is at stake.”

At the time, Agnes Given has just 12 weeks to live.

Poignantly, Shay writes: “Agnes Given, my mum, dying, me aged four.

“Agnes Given, a woman I can barely remember, a mother I will never forget.”

Extracts from the book were carried in this week’s Sunday Independent and can be read here –

Shay: Any Given Saturday is published by Trinity Mirror Sport Media. It is on sale from this Thursday. Shay will be signing copies of the book in the Eason store in Letterkenny on Sunday at 1pm.