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Thursday 18 October 2018

Revealed: Broadcaster Jimmy Magee leaves €1.7m in will

Memory Man Jimmy Magee left €1.7m
Memory Man Jimmy Magee left €1.7m
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

Sports commentator and journalist Jimmy Magee left more than €1.7m in his will, according to documents lodged last week in the Probate Office in Dublin.

Known affectionately as 'Memory Man' because of his ability to remember sports statistics and teams, he left a bequest of €10,000 to the Motor Neurone Disease Association as a tribute to his son Paul, who died from the disease in 2008.

"He was a philosopher, he was a commentator, he was a journalist, he was a family man, and as he said on so many occasions about others, he was 'in a different class'," his friend Fr Brian D'Arcy told the congregation at Jimmy Magee's funeral, following his death on the September 28, 2017, aged 82.

As well as travelling to World Cups and Olympics Games, Magee covered almost every domestic sport during his long career with RTE and the Sunday World newspaper, where he compiled a weekly sports quiz for many years.

After leaving the national broadcaster, he joined UTV on a short-term contract to fulfil his ambition to commentate on the All-Ireland finals.

He also found time to organise the 'Jimmy Magee All-Stars' which played football throughout the country with sports stars and celebrities 'togging out' for the charity.

According to his will, James 'Jimmy' Magee, who lived at Lakelands on the Upper Kilmacud Road in south Dublin, described as a 'sports commentator', left estate valued at €1,763,269.

As well as bequests to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, of which he was a patron, his lifelong friends Kevin O'Brien and his wife Assumpta, and his grandchildren, he left a property at Carlingford, Co Louth to his sister Mary O'Keefe. The residue of his estate is to be divided equally between his surviving children Linda, June, Patricia and Mark, according to the will drawn up in 2009.

Born to Irish parents in New York on January 31, 1935, he was brought up in Greenore, Co Louth.

He joined RTE in 1956, presenting a variety of programmes and also persuaded station bosses to compile a Top Ten record show to compete with the BBC.

According to his autobiography, Memory Man, he was asked during a visit to Nashville to become European representative for an up-and-coming singer called Garth Brooks, but declined because of his busy work schedule.

Jimmy Magee said the reason he went into radio was "the greatest sportsmen didn't last a lifetime, but commentators go on forever".

He also had a deep interest in music, becoming a director of a 'Country & Irish' record label Release Records with Mick Clerkin for which he wrote a number of hit songs. His last song was titled These Old Eyes Have Seen It All.

His wife Marie died aged 55 in 1989 and when he wrote his autobiography, Jimmy Magee dedicated it to her and the other members of his family.

Sunday Independent

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