Joe Day: I ran off the pitch and was told two little girls were waiting for me

Newport goalkeeper Joe Day has spoken of his double delight after becoming a father to twin girls during his side’s FA Cup giant-killing of Middlesbrough.

The 28-year-old rushed from the Rodney Parade pitch at the end of Tuesday night’s fourth-round replay, having learnt his wife Lizzie had gone into labour.

She had baby girls Sophia Grace and Emelia Lillie at the Royal Gwent Hospital during the first half of Newport’s 2-0 victory, which set up a fifth-round tie at home to Premier League champions Manchester City a week on Saturday.

Day described the whole experience as “surreal”.

“We always knew there was a chance the birth would fall during the match, but Lizzie backed me and made it an easy decision for me to play the game,” he told the club’s official website.

“Nothing was really happening at midday on Tuesday, but as I was driving to the game Lizzie called me to say that her waters had gone. I got to the ground when she was being taken to the labour ward but she told me to concentrate on the game.

“I didn’t know the girls had been born when I ran off the pitch at the end. Until I got into my car and called Lizzie I didn’t know what was going on as we’d had no contact since before the game, but Lizzie told me that there were two little girls and they were perfect and waiting for me to arrive at the hospital – and we’ve been here ever since.

Joe Day's wife Lizzie gave birth to twin girls Sophia Grace Day and Emelia Lillie Day during Newport's FA Cup win over Middlesborough
Joe Day’s wife Lizzie gave birth to twin girls Sophia Grace Day and Emelia Lillie Day during Newport’s FA Cup win over Middlesborough (Handout/PA)

“The whole evening was a bit surreal. To beat Middlesborough 2-0, to get through to play Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, playing the game, winning, two twins being born – I’m feeling very lucky and proud of Lizzie!”

Day also praised the “outstanding” hospital staff for making his wife “feel very comfortable” and him “feel better for not being there”.

His wife, who was kept up to date with how Newport were getting on during labour, added: “Joe turned up for the nice bit to have cuddles! We’re absolutely over the moon and the midwives have been so good with me. The care here at the Royal Gwent Hospital has been amazing – with Joe not being here, they couldn’t have looked after me more.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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