By Pat Costello
THE death was announced on Monday evening of legendary soccer goalkeeper and Naas resident, Eamonn D’Arcy.
Originally from Crumlin in Dublin and affectionately known as “Sheila” throughout his career, the late Eamonn played League of Ireland football for Shelbourne, Dundalk, Oldham Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Drumcondra and played against Manchester United in the European Cup in 1957.
Always known for his flamboyance on the field, he also represented the the League of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at “B” international level. He famously saved a penalty for the League of Ireland as they beat Alf Ramsey’s English League side in Dalymount Park in 1963.
Eamonn was also heavily involved in soccer in his adopted county of Kildare managing Newbridge Town and also being a guiding light in the Kildare and District Soccer League. Paying tribute to the late Eamonn Darcy, Michael Casey of the KDFL said, “So sad to learn of the passing of Eamonn Darcy, a founding member of the Kildare and District Football League in 1994. He guided us in our early days and gave us the benefit of his wealth of experience in the game.”
Pat McNally of Klub Kildare said of Eamonn D’Arcy, “he gave his whole life to football, (I) remember the night he beat the English League on his own. Ironic that as a former manager of the women’s team that he will not be around to see them in the World Cup.”
This writer had the privilege of being on the Interview Panel which selected Eamonn as Manager of the Republic of Ireland’s Women’s team in 1994 and was honoured to have worked with him for a short time afterwards.
The late Eamonn, who was just short of his 90th birthday, is survived by his wife, Alice as well as children Geraldine, Susan, Michael and Alan as well as other relatives and friends. His funeral Mass will take place on Thursday at 10am in the Church of Our Lady and St David, Naas.
Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.