SURE, who would say no to Mick Mills?”
Those were eight words shared by Wicklow GAA secretary and Blessington stalwart Chris O’Connor about one of the most unmistakable presences in the game, whose death has sent shockwaves through the county.
The context behind those words is that, as O’Connor revealed, his work on the club’s fortnightly lotto was priceless, selling 100 tickets with little effort every time.
This ability to fundraise for Blessington goes some way towards embodying his value to the club, value that was reflect in the grief they have felt since news broke of his death on Sunday.
In a heartwarming tribute to Mills – originally from Donard - Blessington GAA said: “The sad news filtered through [Sunday] that our beloved honorary club member Mick Mills had passed away after a long illness at Naas Hospital.
“Mick has been a constant in our lives at the club for over the past thirty to forty years, having come to Carriglen all those years back .
“Mick always obliged as umpire, gateman for club and county, steward at our grounds and the county grounds in Aughrim, where he loved to spent the day and exchange banter with all and sundry .
“Our club was a huge part of Mick’s life and from its outset, the club lotto he loved, the fortnightly draw being not only an event but a social outing. Mick will be greatly missed by all club members and especially by our Lotto Committee. Mick went nowhere without a book of lotto tickets in his coat pocket .
“Mick has served on the Committee for the past thirty years and during that time was the club County Board delegate at meetings in Aughrim and Ballinakill, and with the late John Magee, they both together did so much for club and county. Mick enjoyed especially representing the club at the annual county convention. Whether at club or county, Mick was never afraid to have his say.”
The commiserations transcended the often fickle boundaries of sporting rivalry, as messages of support were sent to his mourning family, including wife Bernie, sisters Josie and Gretta, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Blessington have postponed their AGM until further notice while the club’s grounds will remain closed as a mark of respect. He will be laid to rest today (Wednesday), with the funeral mass taking place at the Church of Our Lady.