A wee man with a big heart is how Limavady Parish Priest, Monsignor Bryan McCanny described the late Dessie Loughery who has died.
And those who knew the 74-year-old say that’s exactly what the Limavady man was - quiet, unassuming and always willing to help others.
Dessie died on December 10 after battling cancer, 15 months after his late wife, Bernadette. Dessie had two great passions in life, his earliest being cricket. He played for the North West in their Guinness Cup triumph of 1966. He was a top order batsman, and played with distinction with Limavady and Ballyspallen, holding a unique record at the time of scoring consecutive hundreds when Limavady returned to senior cricket.
Dessie’s other great love was ‘the dogs’.
Son Dessie Jnr. says his father, rarely seen out of his trademark blue boilersuit, was responsible for training several English Derby winners, including ‘I’m Slippy’.
“Daddy was a hard worker, a man of simple means who looked after his family,” said Dessie Jnr.
“No one would have a bad word to say about him. He was a gentleman.”
Despite his illness, Dessie’s generosity shone bright. Shortly before he died, he organised a fundraiser which raised more than £16,000 for charity.
Dessie is survived by children Teresa, Dessie, Eamon, Jennifer, Anthony and Gary, 14 grandchildren and three great children.