Offaly GAA pays tribute to Eugene McGee after untimely death

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Offaly GAA pays tribute to  Eugene McGee after untimely death

RTÉ documentary '1982: Prayers of the Faithful' to tell story of how Eugene McGee's Offaly rocked The Kingdom

Offaly GAA has led tributes following the death of 1982 All-Ireland winning manager Eugene McGee has overnight.

"The untimely death of Eugene McGee has robbed us of one of the most celebrated GAA managers of all time," a statement read.

"While Eugene was very much proud Longford man, steeped in the traditions of the GAA in that county, it was for his brilliance in managing Offaly to that never to be forgotten All-Ireland Senior Football title in 1982, that he will be forever remembered."

"When Seamus Darby crashed the ball to the net to end Kerry’s dream of five in a row, Eugene McGee was to be forever immortalised in GAA folklore." 

"Rarely if ever has a sporting event in this country, or indeed beyond, stood the test of time like the 1982 All-Ireland Football Final."

The Offaly GAA statement continued: "The modest Longford man never looked for the plaudits; instead, in his unassuming way, he referred to the fact that it was his job to have Offaly ready for that day and the players did the rest." 

"However, that would be a very simplistic view of what this tactical genius had done over the previous five or six years as he moulded a group of players into a team that will be forever remembered when All-Ireland Finals are spoken of."

"Eugene’s departure from this life has left all who were fortunate enough to have known him, with heavy hearts, but also much richer for having had the benefit of his enormous wisdom."

 "To his wife Marian, son Conor, daughter Linda, extended family, his colleagues from 1982 and all who had the pleasure of knowing him goes our heartfelt sympathy," Offaly GAA said.

Eugene passed away in the early hours of Sunday, May 5, having taken ill at a family event. He was in his late 70s. 

In January 2007 Eugene was inducted into the Offaly GAA Hall of Fame.

He is also a former managing editor of the Longford Leader newspaper and a columnist with the Irish Independent as well as a journalist with the Sunday Tribune.