Forward is relishing FA Cup clash with the club he supports and will be watched by some of his 10 siblings and his proud parents

It is 4.30pm and the kettle has just boiled at the Curtis household in old Portsmouth where Ronan, not long back from a player-appearance event in nearby Havant, is sitting at one end of the dining room table detailing the significance of the signed Republic of Ireland and Derry City shirts framed on the wall behind him, the latter a poignant tribute to his former captain Ryan McBride, who died suddenly three years ago at the age of 28.

Marie, Curtis’s mother, takes a seat along from Ronan but, these days, she does not need to intervene. “You would bring him in for his dinner and the ball would be under the table and he’d be kicking it from one foot to the other,” she says. “He would stop and then the moment you were not looking ... he just couldn’t keep still. Every morning I would have to get two uniforms ready for him, because if I didn’t watch him he would be in the garden.”

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