independent

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Football community will be out in force to bid farewell to Marty

Anne Campbell

Published 11/09/2013 | 05:20

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The late Marty Shields.

THE football community of Dundalk is expected to turn out in force for tomorrow's funeral of legendary Dundalk FC supporter Marty Shields who died suddenly on Sunday, aged just 51.

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THE football community of Dundalk is expected to turn out in force for tomorrow's funeral of legendary Dundalk FC supporter Marty Shields who died suddenly on Sunday, aged just 51.

Mr Shields, a proud grandfather, had hours before his death from a suspected heart attack, made arrangements with his daughter, Tracy, to accompany him to Oriel Park for the Louth derby on Sunday evening.

The Ashling Park man was one of the club's biggest fans and only missed one game, home and away, in 45 years of supporting his beloved Lilywhites.

And the Dundalk FC team and fans paid their own special tribute to their life-long fan after Sunday's game against Drogheda when the players brought a banner that said 'RIP Marty Shields' from the 'Shed' section of the ground and laid it tenderly on the pitch.

The banner had been made by Mr Shields's fellow fans ahead of the game that Dundalk won 1-0, putting them top of the Airtricity League.

Players from the club went onto social media to express their shock and sadness at the death of man who was undoubtedly one of Dundalk's most ardent fans.

And in their final tribute to a much loved husband, father and grandfather, the family has asked that those attending the funeral wear Dundalk FC or Leeds United colours.

Mr Shields's daughter, Tracy, said her family is devastated by her dad's sudden death, but have drawn great comfort from the outpouring of genuine affection from his friends at Oriel Park.

Tracy told The Argus how her dad had contacted her shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday to urge her to come to the Louth derby game.

She said: 'Dad was so excited about the game and said that he wanted me to come up with him. We were going to head to Mass on Sunday morning, then get some dinner and head to the game after that.

'He had it all planned out but sadly we never got to do it'.

She said it is believed her father died from a heart attack and added that Marty's own dad died suddenly from a heart attack aged just 45.

Mr Shields's sudden death came as a 'huge shock' to the family.

But she added that the display of affection and remembrance shown by players and supporters at the game had been a comfort to the family.

Her brother, Patrick and sister, Glenda, represented the family at the derby and were 'overwhelmed' by the support they were shown.

Tracy said: 'Dad travelled to every away game and was always at the home games. He was always positive about Dundalk FC and was delighted with the way this season was turning out for them'.

Mr Shields is survived by his wife, Sheila and children Tracy, Patrick and Glenda; grandaughter Kaitlyn, brother James and extended family and friends.

He is reposing at home until 9 p.m. on Tuesday night and removal takes place on Wednesday morning at 10.30 a.m. walking to St Nicholas Church arriving for Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at St Patrick's Cemetery.

The Argus

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