Kenny Jackett has been thanked for his compassion during the traumatic birth of Dion Donohue’s son.
The Pompey footballer was allowed to miss Pompey’s home clash with Wigan in April after partner Nadine was taken into Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Complications saw their son, Mason, unable to breathe for five minutes following delivery, while Donohue’s girlfriend lost two-and-a-half pints of blood during the agonising labour.
Throughout the distressing time, Jackett remained in touch with the left-sided player, allowing him to take additional time away from the club.
It’s a classy gesture from Pompey’s boss which Donohue appreciates.
The 25-year-old said: ‘I couldn't have asked for a better manager, he just made it clear that family was most important.
‘When we were living in Birmingham some years ago, Nadine had an operation. As we had no family around us, I mentioned to my manager at the time that I needed to be there for her.
‘His advice to me was to get my priorities in order. It was a case of: “You’d better not miss the game”.
‘Sometimes you feel pressured to play and not miss games, but family must come first.
‘It was definitely easier knowing the manager (Jackett) was fully understanding, ringing me to ask how everything was going. It was nice to have that from your manager.
‘You are so focused with football that you forget about home life, so I couldn’t have asked for any better from the football club.
‘I’ve had both ends of the stick – it’s great to have a manager that understands.’
Donohue subsequently returned to Pompey’s starting line-up at Rochdale, as the sides shared a 3-3 draw.
He ended the campaign with 35 appearances, and beaten only by Jamal Lowe in terms of assists.
Meanwhile, the Welshman’s family also gathered round to help during testing times.
Donohue added: ‘My family and Nadine’s family came down for the birth and her nan stayed with us for a time.
‘She was a godsend, especially early on with Nadine recovering slowly and me eventually having to go back to football.
‘Everybody has been so kind during difficult times, we’re very fortunate.’