'Irish football has lost one of its favourite sons' - tributes pour in for Ray Treacy
Tributes have been flowing in for former Ireland international Ray Treacy after he passed away last night after a short illness at the age of 68.
The popular Dubliner won 42 caps for his country between 1966 and 1980 and later went into management in the League of Ireland where the highlight was delivering title success to Shamrock Rovers in 1994.
Treacy was also a well-known figure in the travel industry after establishing his own agency in 1978 which later became the official partner of the FAI and organised trips for both the Irish team and travelling supporters. He retired from the business in 2009.
"Deeply saddened by Ray Treacy's passing. International Legend, League Legend & an absolute gentleman. RIP Ray," tweeted the official FAI account this morning.
"We are all deeply saddened at the passing of Ray Treacy," FAI chief executive John Delaney said today. "He was legend of Irish football and made a unique contribution to his country, to schoolboy football and to the League of Ireland."
"As the FAI's official travel agent he helped thousands of Irish supporters follow the team all over the globe, particularly to the World Cups in 1990, 1994 and 2002. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, his wife Jenny, his daughters Karen and Lisa, and two sons John and Gary."
Ray Treacy the last LOI and Rovers player to score for Ireland https://t.co/XkPuk8zOQh— Shamrock Rovers F.C. (@ShamrockRovers) April 11, 2015
Irish football lost one of its favourite sons tonight. Ray Treacy stood 5ft 9in but jumped far higher. One of the good guys. RIP, Trasser.— Philip Quinn (@Quinner61) April 10, 2015
Deeply saddened by Ray Treacy's passing. International Legend, League Legend & an absolute gentleman. RIP Ray pic.twitter.com/OvJyUTKqlz— FAI (@FAIreland) April 11, 2015
Had so much fun and learned so much from Ray Treacy over the years. A 'genuinely' lovely man. Sincere condolences to Lisa & family. #RIPRay— Tony O'Donoghue (@Corktod) April 11, 2015
Shocked to hear of passing of Ray Treacy. Ronan Collins & I tried to ring him this week to wish him well. Every night out with Ray was craic— Des Cahill (@sportsdes) April 11, 2015
So sad to hear Ray Treacy has passed away. A great man and much loved by so many #RIPRAYTREACY— Kevin Kilbane (@kdkilbane77) April 11, 2015
Our condolences to family and friends of Ray Treacy. Such sad news.— Dundalk FC (@DundalkFC) April 11, 2015
So so saddened by news of Ray Treacy's death.— Vincent Hogan (@Vincent_Hogan) April 10, 2015
We send our condolences to the friends and family of Ray Treacy who passed away this evening. RIP— St Patrick's Ath (@stpatsfc) April 10, 2015
"So sad to hear Ray Treacy has passed away. A great man and much loved by so many #RIPRAYTREACY," former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane posted on his Twitter account following the sad news.
The hard worker initially made his name on the pitch as a brave striker who overcame his lack of height (5 ft 9 inches) to earn a reputation as an aerial threat with an eye for goal.
He started his career with Home Farm and then moved across the water for a brief spell at West Brom. But a switch to Charlton in 1968 really put him on the map and that was followed by stints at Swindon and Preston before he relocated to West Brom in 1976 to work under his long term Irish colleague John Giles.
Treacy earned a place in Rovers hearts by scoring a winning penalty in the 1978 FAI Cup Final and maintaining an association with the club that eventually led to his appointment as manager in 1992 - he had cut his teeth at Home Farm and Drogheda. Playing out of the RDS, he led the Hoops to the championship two years later.
His departure from the hot-seat in 1996 was the signal for Treacy to concentrate on the business which kept him in regular contact with the football community. The jovial character, who was a familiar presence on the airwaves because of that quality, will be missed by the many friends that he made along the way.