THE local footballing fraternity in Derry in particular, and the north-west area in general, will regret the passing of a former popular player who represented quite a few local clubs during the 1960’s.
Stephen (Stevie) Harvey, passed away in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on January 25th last, just a few months before his 72nd birthday.
Stevie was born in Derry in 1941, but grew up across the border in Muff.
He was educated at St. Columb’s College, in Derry, and was a contemporary of well known personalities such as John Hume, Seamus Heaney and Eamonn McCann.
Initially employed as a civil servant, Stevie’s academic ability saw him progress through Queen’s University - as a part-time student - where he secured an Economics Degree and then an M.B.A.
However, it was his prowess as a local footballer which saw his name featuring on the sporting headlines having represented senior clubs, Derry City, Finn Harps and Coleraine before moving to live in Belfast due to work commitments.
In Belfast he continued his senior career with Glentoran and while representing the “Bannsiders,” Stevie won an Amateur International Cap which remained a prized possession right up to his recent death.
He also played in Finn Harps’ opening game in the League of Ireland back in the late 1960’s when losing 10-2 to Shamrock Rovers at Finn Park.
As a teenager Stevie was offered a professional contract with English club, Millwall, but he was prevented from taking up that contract by his father who had witnessed the injuries sustained by his own brother when playing for West Ham United..
Stevie, who passed away peacefully in the presence of his loving wife, Eveleen and family circle, was cremated following a Funeral Service at Roselawn Crematorium on Tuesday, January 29th.
On behalf of all those who knew Stevie, particularly those from the north-west area, sincere sympathy is extended to his wife Eveleen; his son Kealan, daughter Alison, daughter-in-law Sandra and grandchildren Katie, Enna and Conor and to the extended Harvey family.
May he rest in peace.