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Longford mourns football legend

John Donlon, back row, third from right, was a member of the 1968 Longford team who won the Leinster Senior Football Championship.

John Donlon, back row, third from right, was a member of the 1968 Longford team who won the Leinster Senior Football Championship.

There was widespread sadness yesterday, Tuesday, as news filtered through that Newtowncashel football legend John Donlon had passed away, aged 75.

The former Fianna Fáil County Councillor was centre half back on the 1966 Longford team which secured a National Football League title. He also played in 1968 when the team won the Leinster Senior Football Championship.

He will be remembered as one of the greats in Longford football .

Speaking to the Leader, former Chairperson of the Leinster Council, Martin Skelly says: “Needless to say he was an outstanding player in Longford at the time.”

“He was one of the greatest, if not the greatest footballer to come from Newtowncashel.”

The football legend also managed the Longford senior football team in the early 70’s, which Martin explains was a difficult task at the time.

In recent years, John became ill, but “fought it so bravely and conquered it.”

“He fought the fight” Martin explains.

“He always arrived smiling and up for the battle, that epitomises his character more than anything else.”

“He will go down in folklore as one of the greats” Mr Skelly concluded.

Reposing at his residence today, Wednesday, and tomorrow, before removal to the Church of the Blessed Virgin, Newtowncashel, arriving at 7 o’clock. Funeral Mass will take place on Friday at 12 noon, with burial afterwards in Moydow cemetery.

 

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