Children nominate widower dad for television award

Children nominate widower dad for television award

Jason O’Donoghue, with his children from left, Paris, Kieran, Courtney and Jordan

Wife and mum Debbie

First published in News by

HE MAY not have a cape or the ability to fly but dad Jason O’Donoghue has been hailed a superdad by his adoring children.

Jason, a carpenter, from Bevisland, Liden, lost his wife Debbie, 43, in October 2007 after a battle with breast cancer and has since had to bring up his four children single-handedly.

Yesterday, ITV1’s Daybreak surprised Jason by naming him as one of five Superdads in the country.

Presenter Gethin Jones, along with half of his street, surprised Jason by knocking on his door at 7am and presenting him with the award of Superdad.

Jason, 43, was nominated for the award on behalf of his four children – Courtney, 15, 13-year-old twins Kieran and Jordan and eight-year-old Paris – by family friend Anna Church.

She said: “He is an absolutely amazing father and he was an amazing husband to Debbie.

“When Debbie passed away his whole life had to be around the children because they were so tiny. The children wanted to nominate him because he was great when Debbie died.He’s been there to pick them up whenever they have been down.

“Even though he is hurting he has to put on a brave front just to keep his children so happy.

“He just feels it is a role in his life he has to do, but I don’t think he realises the amount he has had to cope with.”

Jason answered his door and was shocked to see the presenter and dozens of family and friends from the street.

He was left speechless as he was presented with the award and Jason, who is a huge Arsenal fan, was also given a Gunners shirt and a tour of the club’s Emirates Stadium for him and his family.

Jason said: “I was making the kids’ sandwiches when there was a knock on the door and I saw lots of balloons out of the window and thought what was going on because it wasn’t my birthday. It was an absolute shock.

“It has been hard for the whole of the family since Debbie died, but I have had a lot of support from my mum and dad.

“What we have been through has definitely brought the family closer.”

Courtney said: “I always feel low about my mum passing away but when I’m sad he’ll help us out and cuddle us to make us feel better and we’d talk about her, like about the good times.

“I know he gets sad about it – he just doesn’t want to show us.

“He is the best dad ever, no one can beat him after what he has done.”

Kieran added: “We always go to him and talk and let him know how we feel and he makes sure we are all right.

“He is always making sure us kids are looking good and ready for school every day. He always makes sure the ironing is done and takes us down the gym as many nights as he can.”

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