Tributes paid to a man who gave his all to soccer in Mayo

The news of the tragic death of Jeremy Dee last Sunday shocked and stunned all who knew him. Anyone who was involved in soccer in any capacity in Mayo and even further afield could not but have encountered Jeremy on a number of occasions, and had to have been touched by his love for the game and his infectious attitude towards it. This writer on a couple of occasions was also on the end of a good natured ribbing from him when Jeremy thought more coverage was deserved to this or that team. Invariably he was right and more coverage was deserved to whomever he was on about. Jeremy was always very giving of his time whenever this writer had the pleasure to contact him about anything at all, and also in his role with Mid West Radio commentating on soccer games, a number of cramped press boxes were shared over the years with him. He will be sadly missed by all those in the press who worked with him.

Since his untimely death tributes have been paid to him from all corners of the game from local to national, all well and truly deserved for a man who gave his all for whatever team or committee he was involved with. Padraig McHale, Mayo Football League chairman paid tribute to Jeremy, saying: "I am deeply shocked at this tragic loss. I have known Jeremy personally for over 10 years now and his passing will leave an enormous void in the football world, He was someone who got things done with a minimum of fuss and always displayed a genuine passion for our game, I am proud to say that I knew and worked with him.''

John Delaney, chief executive of the FAI paid tribute to Jeremy: "I am deeply saddened at this tragic loss. I had enormous personal regard for Jeremy's wide ranging contribution to the Irish football family. He represented all that is good about volunteerism and is an enormous loss to the development of women's football, particularly in the west of Ireland. He always had a positive attitude and would light up any room with his enthusiasm and smile. I take this opportunity to offer my sincere condolences to his family."

President of the FAI, Niamh O'Donoghue, chairperson of the Women's Football Association of Ireland also paid tribute: "Jeremy was a true example to all volunteers. He was a wonderful person whose real passion was the development of women's football. As the Connacht representative of the WFAI he did major work in getting activities going and uniting people to work together for the development of the game. Two years ago he became responsible for national competitions as competitions' officer of the WFAI. Jeremy was a man who had vision and was always willing to put himself forward to get a job done. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. Our prayers are with his family at this tragic time."

The Castlebar Celtic Club paid tribute to Jeremy in a statement saying, “All at Castlebar Celtic would like to offer their deepest sympathy to the Dee family on the tragic death of Jeremy Dee RIP. Jeremy was the current Castlebar Celtic Women’s/Girls’ Development Officer and was instrumental in developing the current Women’s and Girls’ structures at the club. His influence and guidance will be sorely missed at Castlebar Celtic but his contribution will never be forgotten. Jeremy came to Celtic in 2007 to re-establish women’s football at the club which had laid dormant for a number of years and his vision was to develop Castlebar Celtic as one of the top women and girls’ football clubs in Ireland. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeremy’s family at this very difficult time. He was a true gentleman and will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.”

Jeremy was laid to rest in Bekan cemetery after his funeral Mass in Bekan Church on Wednesday last. Ar dheis de go dti anam.

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