SUDDEN DEATH OF FORMER LEAGUE OF IRELAND FOOTBALLER CAUSES SHOCK AND GRIEF IN MONAGHAN

20 September 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The sudden death on Sunday, September 15 last of Mr Noel Melvin, Crumlin, Threemilehouse has sent waves of shock and grief through the soccer, athletics and general communities of Monaghan and the surrounding area. Aged 48, Mr Melvin was a former League of Ireland footballer who enjoyed a distinguished playing career with Monaghan United, Dundalk and Finn Harps, predominantly as a central midfielder.

He scored 19 goals over a 219-game playing career in the league. A native of Ballina, Co Mayo, he was a long-time resident of Monaghan and was a very wellknown, well-liked and highly respected figure in the local community. He enjoyed a distinguished working career in the finance sector. In recent years he had become very active in recreational running and was a member of the Monaghan Joggernutts.

He had been in the concluding stages of his preparations for participation in the Dublin City Marathon later this year. He is survived by his wife Cathy, children Marc and Sophie, brothers and sisters Cathy, Alec, Betty, Joe, Thomas, Pauric, Dorothy, Donny, Agnes and Sinead, and by brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and a wide circle of friends. He was predeceased by his father and mother Joe and Dorothy, and his sister Mary. Leading figures from the Irish soccer community were among the extremely large and representative attendance at the Funeral Mass in St Mary’s Church, Threemilehouse at noon, Wednesday.

Monaghan United FC in expressing condolences to the Melvin family stated: “Noel joined Monaghan United in 1992 from Donegal Town FC and he went on to score in both legs of the promotion play-offs against Waterford United to give Monaghan United promotion to the Premier Division. He served the club proudly for three seasons.” The club added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at such a sad time. May his gentle soul rest in peace.” The Sean McCaffrey Foundation in Monaghan described the local football community as being in shock at Mr Melvin’s passing, and remembered him as “an absolute gentleman”. The League of Ireland also issued a statement in which they said that the entire League family was mourning Noel Melvin’s tragic passing.

The Monaghan Joggernutts paid tribute to Mr Melvin on their Facebook page: “Words fail us at this particular sad time at the sudden death of fellow Joggernutt Noel Melvin at the young age of 48. A Ballina man who made his home here in Monaghan, a top athlete, family man and friend who gave it everything on and off the field of life as long as we knew him, Noel will be sadly missed by his wife Cathy, son and daughter, by his family , by us all here in the group and also by his wider circle of friends near and far who had the pleasure of coming in contact with and knowing him.

“Noel was in the process of training up for the Dublin Marathon next month, his first marathon in seven years and had his homework almost done, loving every step of the way. “Noel, may you rest in peace.” DUNDALK F.C. The following tribute was issued by Dundalk FC: “Everyone at Dundalk Football Club is deeply saddened by the news that our former player Noel Melvin has died suddenly in Monaghan. Our thoughts are with all his family and friends. “Having played for Monaghan United and Finn Harps throughout the 1990s, Noel was signed by Jim McLaughlin and Tommy Connolly for Dundalk FC at the start of the 1997/98 season. He made his debut in a 5-0 win over Longford Town in the League Cup on 23 August 1997. He enjoyed a tremendous first season at Oriel Park scoring eight goals in 40 appearances. “Having also played in the 1998/99 season, Noel won the Dundalk FC Supporters Player of the Year award in the 1999/2000 season for his outstanding displays in centre-midfield or defence. “Having retired from the game at the end of that season, he returned in September 2001 to help the club during an injury crisis and also played in the 2002 UEFA Cup ties with Varteks Varazdin.

A Noel Melvin jersey hangs proudly in the Lilywhite Lounge to this day. “Working in the finance sector, Noel was a regular visitor to Oriel Park as a supporter. He also lined out for our legends teams on a number of occasions. “Noel was hugely admired by his team-mates, supporters and everybody involved at Dundalk Football Club. “Rest in peace, Noel.” FINN HARPS F.C. Finn Harps F.C. also expressed condolences to Noel’s family, relatives and friends: “Noel, a native of Ballina, Co Mayo, played two seasons for Finn Harps, joining in the 1995/1996 campaign when the Club was promoted to the Premier Division. He also played with Harps in the 1996/1997 season in the top flight. “Noel also played League of Ireland football with Monaghan Utd and Dundalk F.C. He featured as well for Donegal Town F.C. in the Junior League when he worked in the local AIB Bank branch. “A midfielder, Noel was a key member of the side that was promoted to the Premier Division in 1996 and was also with us for the following season. Finn Harps F.C. wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to Noel’s family at this very difficult time. Rest in peace, Noel.”

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