THE loss of Michael (Bammel) Malone to the Cooley Kickhams, neighbours and family was an extremely heavy burden for all. When we lose somebody close to us memories are what we are all left with.
In the case of Michael he has certainly left us with so many football memories it would be impossible to document all of them. In his early playing days there were many adjectives used to describe him such as fast, fit, tricky, diminutive and above all stylish with a great will to win.
Being a vital member of the great Cooley team of the '70's which dominated football in the county and indeed to a certain extent outside of the county as the order of that era meant playing in and winning numerous tournaments. Michael was very modest about the accolades he achieved on the field of play and when his playing days were over he certainly put all of his football knowledge back into the Club.
Having won senior championship medals in 1971,'73,'76 & '77(captain), he then became heavily involved with the senior team and was a mentor with the team which again won the championship in 1978 to achieve 3 in a row. Cooley supporters at the time felt Bammel retired as a player much too early. However in 1980 he came out of retirement to help the Club junior team win the championship. He did remark on occasion that the victory in the junior final of 1980 was as rewarding as any he enjoyed.
He served as a mentor and committee member across the board from Peile Cuchulain juvenile through underage and with adult Club sides and in more recent years he served as a senior selector. His opinion was oft times sought and given with total honesty and no holds barred.
Bammel as he was affectionately known was fond of an odd bet on the horses or the dogs, but will certainly be best remembered for the major part he played in football and although small in stature he was a giant in the annals of the Cooley Kickhams Club.
His presence will be missed and in particular from training sessions which he was an almost ever present at, as he just loved coming to Fr.McEvoy Park if only to observe. Michael will always be part of the fabric of Cooley Kickhams and no doubt is probably playing on or selecting a team in the skies and if they don't see him up there they will certainly hear him when it comes to football.
Ar dheis de go raibh a ainm dilis