All-Ireland winning football manager Jim McGuinness has said he is glad his team were able to win the Sam Maguire cup in honour of tragic Donegal GAA fan Andrew Duffy.
Andrew, 23, drowned in Dublin’s Royal Canal just hours after watching his beloved Donegal beat Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park on August 26th last.
Today the victorious Donegal team returned to Andrew’s home village of Termon where they remembered the rising GAA star.
Among those on the team was Andrew’s close-friend and team-mate Michael Boyle, from the Termon club and Donegal’s sub goalkeeper.
Hundreds of adults and children packed into the local Craoibhin Community Centre today to see the Sam Maguire Cup.
But Donegal manager Jim McGuinness brought a tear to many fans eyes when he remembered the life of tragic Andrew.
Big-hearted Jim said “I can’t let today pass without mentioning and thinking of young Andrew Duffy from this club.
“He went to Croke Park to support the team like thousands and thouands of other and unfortunately didn’t come home.
“It’s a very, very sad moment for everyone. It was something that we were all thinking of on the bus today and I know that you are all thinking of him yourselves being here.
“I’m glad to we were able to do himself proud and I’m happy that we got to the final and we were able to bring the cup back in his memory,” he said.
Young farmer Andrew only decided to stay in Dublin to celebrate his team’s victory at the last minute.
He phoned his father John seeking permission to stay in the capital after the game but was dead just a few minutes later when he accidentally slipped into the Canal at Binn’s Bridge at Phibsboro.
More than a thousand people attended his funeral including Donegal GAA stars Michael Murphy and Mark McHugh.
Many of his neighbours and friends remembered Andrew as Michael held aloft the Sam Maguire Cup.
Kids scrambled for autographs from the likes of Karl Lacey, Paul Durcan and others as Jimmy’s Winning Matches blasted out from the loudspeakers.
“Andrew was a quiet lad but he would have loved this craic today,” said one.
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