One of Galway’s most famous sporting sons looks set be honoured with a statue after a call from Mayor of Galway City, Mike Cubbard.
The late Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy was a member of the Aston Villa squad who won the English First Division in 1981, the club’s last league championship, before going on to conquer Europe the next year.
He won four caps for the Republic of Ireland and concluded his playing career back in the city where he represented Galway United in the League of Ireland and then West United in junior football. He passed away suddenly in February 2012.Mayor Cubbard said a statue i n South Park would be the perfect location.
'A man who won the highest honours possible cross channel playing the beautiful game'
He said; “Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy to this day remains one of the finest footballers Galway has ever produced. Having played in the League of Ireland with Sligo Rovers, Limerick and Galway Rovers before becoming a firm fans favourite at Aston Villa where he played from 1978 – 1984, Chick was very successful with the English Division 1, European Cup, and European Super Cup amongst his accolades during his time cross channel.
“Having never lost sight of his hometown, Chick returned home in 1984 to continue his career with his beloved Galway United. On completion of his League of Ireland career he then returned to his local roots and played junior football with West United.
“Many a Sunday morning Chick would line out against local opposition, always on hand to offer advice to young and enthusiastic footballers, he was both loved and feared in the local league as his talents on the pitch knew no boundaries. West United continue to play at South Park with their new juvenile academy going from strength to strength.
'The football community, including many a generation of Aston Villa supporter in Birmingham, would have a place to remember their hero'
“As we emerge from Covid-19 and look to rebuild our local economy," said Mayor Cubbard [pictured below] I am proposing a life size statue of Chick Deacy be erected at South Park. I believe it will work two-fold, firstly it would act as a landmark site for visitors to pay their respects to Chick Deacy. The football community at home and abroad including many a generation of Aston Villa supporter in Birmingham would have a place to remember their hero. With that, it would generate footfall to the West End of the city and support the local economy there as well as creating a starting point for visitors to walk our beautiful coastline to Salthill.
“Secondly, for a club building an academy it would act as a constant reminder to a new generation of footballer anything is achievable. Chick’s career is inspirational and must be celebrated. In my view his statue overseeing the West United academy would act as that very inspiration young players need.
“I have engaged in conversation with the Galway City Council tourism officer to seek funding for this project which I believe would be welcomed by the footballing community in Galway and beyond. Dublin City Council correctly erected a statue of their beloved Luke Kelly, now is the turn of Galway City Council with a memorial to the late Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy, a man who won the highest honours possible cross channel playing the beautiful game,” he concluded.