The players and mentors of Calry/St Joseph’s gathered in a huddle after their Sligo IFC final win on Sunday, and quickly formulated a plan of action to celebrate their achievement.
The procession and pints could wait.
Instead, they headed to Scarden graveyard to visit the final resting place of their friend and former club PRO Gary Dillon, who passed away in February, aged 31.
Vice-captain Vinnie Nally explained: “Gary was a huge part of our club. He had cystic fibrosis all his life and couldn’t play football but that didn’t stop him being involved.
“His main role was as club PRO, doing up the weekly notes and reports, working and designing programmes.
“Often he would have been in hospital but that would not stop him from working away to get these things done for the club. He wasn’t just a great character in the club, he was known across all of Sligo. He just loved football.”
But Nally revealed that it was the squad’s second visit to Scarden that day.
“We actually went to the grave before the game also and stayed for a short while. But after the game (when they defeated Shamrock Gaels, 4-9 to 0-6) we went into a huddle and decided we would go there again. One of the lads said a few words, it was all very emotional.”
And adding to the emotion of it all was a chance meeting with Gary’s mother. Nally continued: “Gary’s mother Mary had been up at the grave and was just leaving when about 30 lads arrived with the cup. We stayed on for half an hour and then headed off for the parade.”
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