Sunday 24 March 2019

Skerries mourns Oran Tully

John Manning

Skerries and the Irish soccer community are in mourning this week following the passing of football-mad Oran Tully.

Oran suffered from a rare bowel disease from an early age and was laid to rest in Skerries last Thursday after passing away at the age of 19.

Oran was well known in soccer circles in Ireland and far beyond and achieved a level of fame for not only his great courage but also his happy knack of meeting huge figures in the world of football.

Back in 2013, Oran captured the hearts of millions when the Chelsea-mad teenager became the star of the Christmas Day programme on Sky Sports where he was invited by Chelsea Captain, John Terry, to spend a day at Stamford Bridge.

Oran not only met the team, including manager Jose Mourinho, and spent a few hours shopping with John Terry but also managed to get a rare few words out of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

The Skerries teenager became so associated with the club that he was affectionately known as 'The Ginger Mourinho'.

The soccer-mad fan from Skerries Rock won the chance to be John Terry's special guest at the team's Champion League clash against Schalke - which they won 3-0 - after his dad Martin nominated him for the competition.

'It was such a special day for Oran,' his dad Martin told the Fingal Independent at the time. He said Oran has been suffering with bowel trouble all his life and was confined to a wheelchair for a year and a half following an operation. He was fed intravenously through a drip at night time.

'He managed to get a kick-around with John Terry on the pitch the following day, got to hold the Champions League and Europa League trophies and score a goal against John Terry,' said Martin.

Bohemians and Skerries Town were Oran's other clubs of choice and his hometown club issues a moving statement about the soccer fan who will be sorely missed in this community.

The Skerries Town statement said: 'Oran's love of football and infectious personality brightened up every Academy, camp or training session he was involved in, the kids simply loved him and truth be known, so did the adults.

'This is a truly sad day for our club and our deepest condolences and sympathies go to Martin, Clare, Dara, Conall and Orans family and friends.

'We will miss you wee man, rest in peace.'

Bohemians issued a statement, saying: 'Everyone at the club is very saddened to learn of the passing of Oran Tully. Oran was a dedicated supporter who followed Bohs up and down the country with an infectious passion for the team he loved. He will be sorely missed.'

Oran's funeral took place at St Patrick's Church in Skerries, last Thursday and saw a town and a sporting community united in grief.

Fingal Independent