It is with deep sadness and profound loss that we mourn the passing of our dear friend and colleague in the football world, Liam McEntee, at such a young age. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his wife Samantha, daughter Jennifer and sons Conor and Ciaran. Our sympathies are also offered to Liam’s father, brothers, sisters, and extended family members and friends.
Liam’s brave battle with cancer over recent months was indicative of the strong will, character, and resilience of the man. Despite his serious illness in recent times, Liam was always positive and showed great determination in fighting his illness, and was at all times positive about the future. He never allowed his pain or suffering to overcome his desire to return to normal life — but this was not to be.
Liam’s involvement in football in Mayo started some 11 years ago when his pals Brendan Gibbons and Mick Walsh encouraged him to take up refereeing within the Mayo League. Having been an outstanding football player himself with Tolka Rovers and Collins Utd in the Dublin Leagues, Liam adapted very easily to the role of referee. It was only a short number of years later that he commanded the position of leading referee in the county, and indeed within the province, having officiated at many finals at county and provincial level. Liam had a marvellous rapport and understanding with players, and his intelligent, common sense approach, along with a calming influence eased many a difficult situation on the field of play — this in turn was to make him one of the most highly respected referees in the county.
In his working capacity, Liam was equally professional in everything he did. His ability to talk, listen, and communicate with people was one of his greatest assets. This ability, along with his intelligent and respectful manner, allowed him to develop a close and healthy working relationship with all his work colleagues.
We have lost a dear friend and colleague, who was highly respected throughout the entire football community. His gentlemanly ways brought him many friends, and he was so easy to work with whatever the circumstance. He was always fast to praise, positive in his outlook, and generous in his admiration for others. We will most of all miss his friendship along with his quick “Dublin wit” and good humour, and we will forever remember his generosity of gratitude to those who cared for him during his recent illness. Liam McEntee was a loving, caring family person who will be deeply missed by his devoted family. We thank all those who cared for Liam during his illness. May he rest in peace. — Joe Butler
The chairman of the Mayo League, Pat Quigley, offered his sympathies to the McEntee family and expressed the league’s feelings on the death of Liam.
“We are deeply saddened today with the sad news of the death of a dear football colleague and friend,” he said. “Liam McEntee was an outstanding referee who gave tremendous service to the game of football in Mayo over the past 11 years. His untimely death at such an early age has left a huge void to fill for his family and those nearest and dearest to him. I had several discussions with Liam during his illness, and he always projected a positive manner with the hope of returning to full health, and to the playing fields — this however was not to be the case. We offer our deepest sympathies to his wife Samantha, and children Jennifer, Ciaran and Conor along with his father, brothers, and sisters. As a mark of respect the entire Mayo League programme for last weekend was postponed. May he rest in peace.”