Tributes to Cork City’s ‘Mrs Football’ Noelle Feeney

Cork City FC last night paid tribute to legendary fan Noelle Feeney, who died yesterday, by making her a permanent honorary trustee.

Ms Feeney, from Pearse Rd, Ballyphehane, who was known for decades as the public face of the football club, died in Marymount Hospice yesterday morning — a hospice for which she helped fundraise for more than 30 years.

“It is with a heavy heart that we [report] the death of Noelle Feeney,” the club said in a statement last night.

“She was a vital cog in the Cork City wheel, performing every possible task for the club she loved.

“It’s hard to quantify the amount of work she did. Without her the club would have been lost.

“She worked tirelessly for not just Cork City FC but for the Friends of Marymount and other charities.”

Ms Feeney was a member of Foras, the supporters trust that owns Cork City FC.

“Noelle will now be made an honorary trust member where she will remain a club owner forever,” said the statement.

Lord Mayor Des Cahill paid tribute to her passion, enthusiasm, energy, and devotion to the club, and to her remarkable charity work.

“My thoughts are first and foremost with her family,” he said. “She was such a lovely lady and will be greatly missed. She was a great character, and a tireless worker for the club, and for Marymount.”

Ms Feeney joined the Cork City Supporters Club in 1988, just four years after the club was founded. She served as a director for several years, was chairwoman of the supporters club, and became one of its greatest ambassadors.

Tributes to Cork City’s ‘Mrs Football’ Noelle Feeney

Famous for carrying a bottle of holy water with her to give the senior players luck, she travelled with the squad all over Europe for some of their biggest fixtures, including games against Bayern Munich in Germany, as well as big club teams in Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Cyprus, Serbia, and the Ukraine.

In 2005, the Sunday Times named her the seventh most important woman in the world on a list including World Cup winners Birgit Prinz and Brandi Chastain.

She was also involved in fundraising for many local charities including Marymount, the Breast Cancer Unit at the South Infirmary, the Samaritans, and Kidney Association of Ireland.

Her death came just two weeks after she was presented with a Southside and District Special Lifetime Achievement award to recognise her life-long contribution to sport and to charity fundraising.

The presentation was made by awards organiser Seán O’Sullivan, at Marymount.

Fans took to Twitter to pay tribute yesterday, describing her as “Mrs Football”, as a “super fan without rival”, and a “club legend”.

Broadcasters Des Cahill, Tony O’Donoghue, and Trevor Welch also paid tribute, describing her as a great servant to the club, and an incredible fundraiser.

Ms Feeney is survived by her son, John, and siblings, Helen, Seán, Stephen, Mary, and Jim. Her remains will lie in repose at Sullivans Funeral Home, Turners Cross, with removal at 8pm tonight to the Church of the Assumption, Ballyphehane, and Requiem Mass at 12pm tomorrow.

More on this topic

Cork City would seek to host Rangers at Turner’s CrossCork City would seek to host Rangers at Turner’s Cross

Europa League draw: Cork City could face Rangers in second qualifying roundEuropa League draw: Cork City could face Rangers in second qualifying round

City must play the European waiting gameCity must play the European waiting game

Cork City, Shamrock Rovers and St Pat's learn Europa League opponentsCork City, Shamrock Rovers and St Pat's learn Europa League opponents


Lifestyle

Ellie O’Byrne rounds up some of the virtual gigs, films and other eventsArts Noticeboard: Online entertainment options

It’s 25 years since Toy Story first stunned us with its brilliance. Esther McCarthy looks back onJohn Lasseter’s masterpiece and why it’s regarded as a milestone of modern cinemaInfinity and beyond: How Toy Story altered movie history

All the wines recommended this week are available for delivery.Wine with Leslie Williams: Looking for a wine delivery service? Here are a few ...

If I could be reborn for a day I’d be a cat. I love their serenity and independence and how they always manage to find that one shaft of sunlight.This Much I Know: Broadcaster, Mary Kennedy

More From The Irish Examiner