Tributes pour in for 'heartbeat' of Cork City FC, John Kennedy

Mr Kennedy's daughter, Grace, said people's "kind words and posts have meant more to us as a family than people will ever know"
Tributes pour in for 'heartbeat' of Cork City FC, John Kennedy

John Kennedy was a volunteer and supporter of the Cork City for more than 30 years. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Tributes have poured in for lifelong Cork City fan and club legend John Kennedy who died suddenly yesterday.

Mr Kennedy was a volunteer and supporter of the club for more than 30 years.

He was also well-known around Cork for his work with the youth organisations Ógra Chorcaí and later, Foróige.

In a statement this morning, Cork City said Mr Kennedy was "known around the country for his loyalty, enthusiasm and love of Cork City."

The club said: "Through the family enclosure, John organised buses getting supporters to and from almost every away game, and was a recognisable face to all Rebel Army supporters. 

"It was through John and his work with the Family Enclosure that so many of us first came to experience Turner’s Cross, and ultimately fall in love with our club. 

"John made it so that all families had a fun, colourful and noisy experience when they visited the Cross, and many returned. 

John was the epicentre for our club’s role and work in the community, which made our club a home for many of those less fortunate. 

Cork City chairman Declan Carey said Mr Kennedy's legacy "would never be forgotten."

He said: “His passing has come as a shock to us all. 

"This is an extremely sad time for John’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with them all at this very difficult time and we will support them whatever way we can. 

"The club will continue to honour the legacy John has left behind.” 

Mr Kennedy's daughter, Grace, thanked people for their "kind words".

She said: "I know he’s up there with the biggest smirk on his face knowing he’s trending on Twitter.

"Everyone’s kind words and posts have meant more to us as a family than people will ever know.

"RIP Dad, may you shine bright like you always did singing a Cork City FC chant."

Cork City operations manager Éanna Buckley said: “John was a friend, a mentor, a colleague and an inspiration to myself and everyone involved in the club. 

"From when I first started going to games in my teens to working side by side with him when I joined the club, John was a massive presence and a wonderful club man. 

He embodied everything that is good about our club and we are all utterly devastated at this news.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam delis “City ’til I die, and beyond.”

Sports broadcaster Trevor Welsh described Mr Kennedy as the "heartbeat" of the club, and Cork TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said: "RIP John Kennedy. A true gent & stalwart City man. Enormous loss. Condolences to his family & all who knew & loved him".

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