New lives of Wexford sporting stars Billy Roche and Kevin Doyle in the spotlight in new tv series

By Amy Lewis

Published 17/09/2016 | 00:00

Kevin Doyle.
Kevin Doyle.
Billy Walsh.

Wexford sporting legends Billy Walsh and Kevin Doyle will be in the spotlight as the first episode of a new UTV Ireland series 'Emigration Nation' hits our screens.

The episode will track the new lives of the boxing coach and soccer player, who have both relocated to the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. It will be the first in a six-part documentary which celebrates the lives of Irish emigrants.

In a controversial move, Billy Walsh stood down from his position with the Irish boxing team and subsequently became a coach in the USA. The episode will see him open up about his move.

'You're 52 years of age and you get an opportunity to change your whole life around. It doesn't happen too often. From a little guy coming from the back streets of Wexford to getting an opportunity to take over one of the strongest nations in the world - it's an opportunity that I would have been mad to resist,' he said. 'Wexford is always going to be home and that's where my heart will always be. The sunny south-east and those beaches along the coastline of Wexford, no matter what country I'm in, they'll always have a drag on my heart.'

Several miles away in Denver city lives Adamstown native Kevin Doyle, who is currently playing soccer for the Colorado Rapids. He relocated to the US with his family and two young kids after several years residing in the UK. Kevin talks about how he intends to settle in Ireland when the time comes to hang up his boots, having left his homeland over a decade ago.

'I just thought; do the same again, not be fully enthused by it and just go through the motions. Or else, try something totally different and outside of my comfort zone. I felt that would give me an excitement of playing soccer for the final three, four, five years of my career,' he said. 'It's been a long time, eleven or twelve years now, not living in Ireland. We're looking forward to having a chance to settle down and not have to move here, there and everywhere your soccer career brings you.'

The first episode of Emigration Nation airs at 7:30 p.m. on September 15 on UTV Ireland.

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