Slaughtmanus GAC Chairman, Kevin Watson, said team-mates and friends of the late Kevin King had been the driving force behind a project the whole club could be proud of.
Mr Watson, speaking at Friday’s official unveiling of the ‘KK Fitness Suite’ in memory of the talented former Slaughtmanus forward, said it was important to everyone to ensure Kevin had a fitting legacy at the club.
"It is a bitter sweet night of course but it is also a night to be very proud of what this club and this community has done to create a legacy for Kevin because that is what we set out to do about two years ago,” explained the St. Mary’s Chairman.
“It was a very big undertaking but after considering the enthusiasm from the parish and the players who really wanted to do something for Kevin - the driving force was the players, the committee, the GAA - but we wanted to do it with our own labour. That was the catalyst that got the thing going.
"Of course, then the GAA funding raising machine got going, we got out there and started raising money and did several big events. That all took a huge amount of work but you see the results of everyone’s hard work and generosity here tonight.
"The way we feel, we have achieved what we set out to do and that target was, we didn’t want Kevin to be forgotten. We knew we were never going to forget him because he will always be in our hearts and minds but we wanted Kevin to be remembered in this parish for a very long time and what we have achieved with this project is that future generations will know Kevin King’s name.”
The Slaughtmanus chairman, who had coached Kevin through a number of age levels, said he was a remarkable person, on and off the pitch
“Kevin was a remarkable young man. He was a remarkable footballer but aside from being a fantastic athlete, he was a great individual.
“I’ve known Kevin playing at the club since he was under 8. He went through every age level and I managed him at several levels and he was nothing but a pleasure every time.
“He was a shining example of how a young person should go about their lives. He loved his sport and was a pleasure to be around. He lit up the room when he came into it and people enjoyed talking to him, they wanted to talk to him. He was a person who always attracted people to him because of his personality.
“This gym shows what Kevin’s peers thought of him. That’s what you have to remember; his peers, his friends, his family and this community, they all came here voluntarily for over a year and a half every Saturday, week in, week out - whether it was wet, cold, sunshine - we were here and that wouldn’t have happened only for the character and personality Kevin was.”