SHAY Kerry has said he would happily dedicate the rest of his playing career to Worcester Warriors after the support they have given him in the wake of his recent heart scare.
The England-born, but New Zealand raised, 18-year-old, who joined the Warriors academy in November from New Zealand side Bay of Plenty, has grown up knowing he has the condition.
But following a neck injury during a Warriors under 18s match against Leeds Carnegie on Saturday, the lock is now laid up in hospital awaiting surgery next week.
The promising youngster said: “All of the Warriors boys have been very supportive and Dean Ryan, Nick Johnson and Mike Lancaster came to see me in hospital to see how I was doing and how it might affect me for the future.
“Having come to England from New Zealand, I didn’t have any loyalties to any team but, after the way the club have looked after me through this, I would happily spend the rest of my playing career with Warriors.”
Kerry represented Millwall Football Club before his family emigrated to New Zealand, where he was soon drafted into the All Blacks under 17 development side despite not taking up rugby until he was in his late teens.
Kerry added: “When I was little, every time I played football it [the heart condition] would come about, so I would tell people, but they just said it was because I was unfit or it was natural because I was exercising.
"Being told I was unfit just made me want to train harder and I would go for runs, but the condition would come back – it was a cycle I couldn’t get out of.
“There is an electrical circuit in the body which causes the heart to beat, but I have an extra part that sends extra instructions telling my heart to beat faster. It makes it very difficult for me to get as fit as I would like.
“Once I have had the appropriate procedure and seen the specialist in London, I should be able to get back to training and plan a successful return to playing professional rugby with Worcester Warriors.”