Monday 23 October 2017

Wexford soccer mourns loss of gentleman Pat

Brendan Furlong

Pat Whitty
Pat Whitty

The Wexford soccer community was in mourning over the weekend following the death of long-serving official, Pat Whitty, who passed away on Thursday following a short illness.

The Newbawn-based officer was known throughout football as one of the leading figures in the game, not just as Fixtures Secretary, and as Administrator of the Wexford Football League, but also through officer positions held both at provincial and national levels.

Once he opted for an officer role following a distinguished playing career, the transition was a smooth one, as he brought the same professionalism to his position.

He gave years of distinguished service to the Wexford Football League, where he could be relied upon to run a smooth fixtures programme even allowing for the many weekend setbacks owing to inclement weather.

Universally regarded as a gentleman both on and off the pitch, his ready smile was his greeting, and as an officer he always made one feel welcome at whatever fixture he was attending over the weekend.

He always had a special welcome for guests attending their games, particularly on cup final day. And on a personal basis, his courtesy and helping hand was always available whenever we met at games or there was a weekly fixture question to answer.

While he was passionate about the game of soccer, Pat always had a gentle query regarding other sports, particularly as to how Wexford had performed on the Gaelic fields over the weekend, showing a particular interest in how individual players and particular teams had performed.

Tributes flowed in over the weekend as news of his death passed through the soccer fraternity throughout the province and country.

Pat was a long-standing member of the F.A.I. Senior Council and had been a member of the Leinster F.A. Senior Council for more than 30 years.

He was Vice-President of the Leinster F.A. and was a member of the F.A.I. Finance committee at the time of his sad passing after a short illness.

Aged 62 years, he was an integral part of the Wexford football community for several decades and served the Wexford Football League initially as Fixtures Secretary before moving on to hold the role of League Administrator which he had held for some time.

A native of Old Ross, his playing days were served with Park Hotspur F.C., Wexford Celtic, Old Ross, Crystal Palace, Adamstown and Corach Ramblers.

F.A.I. C.E.O. John Delaney was among the large attendance at his funeral in Cushinstown on Sunday.

Wexford Football League Chairman, Denis Hennessy, said: 'On behalf of everybody in the league we're all very saddened and everybody is totally shocked. He was a true gentleman and a wonderful ambassador for the league in Wexford. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife and family.'

Pat, who is survived by his wife Suzanne, sons Alan, Jason, Dylan, Pádraig and John, and daughter, Kay, other relatives and many friends, was laid to rest in Cushinstown cemetery following Requiem Mass on Sunday.

All Wexford soccer activity over the weekend was postponed as a mark of respect.

Go ndéana Dia trocaire ar a anam.

Wexford People

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