Sunday 18 August 2019

Shock at passing of football legend, Scott Doran

The late Scott Doran
The late Scott Doran

Brendan Keane and Anna Hayes

There is widespread shock and disbelief throughout Wexford this week following the sudden passing at the weekend of legendary former senior footballer, Scott Doran.

Mr Doran (44) passed away unexpectedly on Friday night and his death has stunned not just those involved in sport in the county but also people throughout the wider community - especially in his native parish of Kilmore.

Quiet and unassuming away from the pitch, Mr Doran was one of the finest Gaelic footballers to ever pick up a ball and that fact was highlighted on numerous occasions during his career with the Wexford senior squad which spanned 15 seasons during which he scored 25 goals and 174 points for his county.

Born in the UK, Mr Doran and his family moved back to Ireland when he was just a child. The family lived in Bridgetown and he went to primary school in Kilmore NS, joining Kilmore GAA Club and training under Joe Caulfield.

As a young GAA player he excelled in both hurling and football and won U12 and U14 doubles with the club.

He went on to secondary school in Bridgetown Vocational College and turned his attention more towards football.

In 2005, while back in the UK, he lined out for London in the Connaught championship.

Widely acknowledged as a player who transcended the sport he was one of the Model County's best ever footballers.

He made his senior debut in 1992 and continued with the county until his final game in 2007.

In addition to being a renowned footballer he was also a gifted soccer player and such was his talent for that discipline that he went on a three-month trial to QPR in Britain when he was 14-years-of-age.

When his native Kilmore club won the junior football county title it was one of his proudest moments in the sport he loved so much.

He was a member of the Leinster football team that contested the Railway Cup competition and such was his standing within the sport that being selected while playing for a junior club bore testimony to just how skilled he was as a footballer.

He won two medals with Leinster in the mid-90s.

Mr Doran's talents on the field of play delighted many Wexford supporters over the years.

One former team mate of his was Cllr John Hegarty who played alongside the Kilmore club man on the Wexford county team for many years.

Cllr Hegarty remembers Mr Doran as a quiet, unassuming man who enjoyed the banter with his team mates but was never the centre of attention.

'Off the pitch, he was a shy, quiet guy but he was always in the middle of the action on the pitch - that was where he did his talking. You sometimes got the sense that when he got attention for his footballing heroics, he couldn't understand why. He was just playing the game.'

Mr Hegarty sympathised with the Doran family and paid tribute to Mr Doran's skill on the field, despite the poor record that the county footballers had in the mid 1990s.

'At a time when Wexford had a poor showing in football, with no structure or plan for skilful forwards like him, he could beat his man every day - it didn't matter if they were from Kerry or Dublin, he got around them,' he said.

He also recalled playing against Mr Doran at underage level and said that, at that age group, the Kilmore sharp-shooter's name was known throughout the county for being an exceptionally talented player.

'My earliest memory is of a Rackard League final in primary school and it was Kilanerin versus Scott Doran. We won, but only barely and with a last minute goal.'

Kilmore GAA club paid tribute to Mr Doran with a statement that outlined how it was obvious from a very early age just how talented he was.

Acknowledging the fact that many people referred to him as the club's 'greatest ever player' the statement said: 'From a very early age it was very clear that Scott was a special talent; whether it was watching this diminutive eight-year-old drive a hurling ball up and down the sports field in Bridgetown with a full size hurl or watching him kicking the ball back from behind the goal to men's teams in the pitch in Kilmore it became very clear, very early we had something special on our hands.

'Not many kids that age were known simply by their first name but everyone knew who you spoke about when you simply said the name "Scott",' said the club in its statement.

The Kilmore club acknowledged his overall prowess by commenting that anyone who witnessed him in action should cherish the memories because he was 'a magician in action'.

'Scott possessed a wand of a left foot, a brain too fast for many, and the strength of a lion,' said the club in its statement.

No funeral arrangements were known at the time of going to print.

Mr Doran is predeceased by his brother Aidan who passed away in 2002 at the age of 23. He is survived by his parents Nick and Pauline, his brother Martin, his wife Gerri, and his children.

Wexford People

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