A popular Ballykelly footballer who “had a heart of gold” will be laid to rest this weekend.
Foreglen GAC player, Gary McGee from Ballykelly died suddenly at a house in Bridgehouse Court in Ballykelly on Monday.
He was just a lovely fella, a really good lad, and he was very popular on the teamColr. Tony McCaul
Police say a post mortem examination has been carried out and the death is not being treated as suspicious.
Mr. McGee’s funeral will take place tomorrow (Saturday) at 10am at St. Finlough’s in Ballykelly.
O’Brien’s, Foreglen GAC will form a guard of honour at the funeral.
The club has also passed on Gary’s goalkeeper jersey, number 1, to his family.
O’Brien’s GAC, Foreglen said they were “devastated” at the death of their player who was engaged, and was planning his wedding to his long term partner, fiancé Alana Doherty.
Foreglen GAC chairman, Seamus Downey, described the 32-year-old as “the most modest, quiet and unassuming young man”.
“Gary always had the first word on you.
“Even if you didn’t see him, you would hear his greeting,” said Mr Downey.
Mr McGee had played football with a group of players in Foreglen for the last 20 years, since they were 12, said Mr Downey.
“They are like brothers, such a close knit group and it is so difficult for them, for all of us, to come to terms with this.
“However difficult it is for us, there are two wee girls who will grow up without their daddy.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the McGee family, Alana, his daughters and his family circle and friends.”
Sinn Fein councillor, Tony McCaul, who lives in Foreglen, said the local community is stunned by the young dad’s death.
“Gary was goalkeeper for a number of years and grew up with the club,” he said.
“He was one of the best goalkeepers in the county. Gary grew up, and lived in Ballykelly, but he was in Foreglen all the time visiting family and with the club. He was very much part of Foreglen community.
“He was just a lovely fella, a really good lad, and he was very popular on the team. He had a heart of gold.
“It’s sad news for the whole community. People are devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones at this sad time.”
Among the GAA clubs to express their sympathies were O’Connor’s Glack GAC, St Aidans GAC, Magilligan, Ballerin and St Colm’s GAC, Drum.