Sunday 21 January 2018

FAI planning special tribute to the late Ray Treacy during Ireland's clash with England in June

The late Ray Treacy during his days as Shamrock Rovers manager
The late Ray Treacy during his days as Shamrock Rovers manager

Robin Schiller

Former players and delegates within the Irish football circle today gathered to pay their respects to former international Ray Treacy, who sadly passed away on Friday aged 68.

Among those present at Flanagan’s funeral home in Dundrum were former Ireland striker Niall Quinn, FAI president John Delaney and Ray Treacy’s former team-mate Turlough O’Connor.

Also in attendance were members of Mr Treacy’s family, musician Paddy Reilly and several former international and club colleagues.

Sky Sports pundit Niall Quinn described how he was “shocked and devastated” at hearing the news of Ray Treacy’s passing, and described him as a man he’d always wanted to “emulate” growing up.

“I saw him playing on telly as a youngster when he played for West Brom and later on for Shamrock Rovers, and I used to go every week hoping I’d get the chance to emulate him,” Mr Quinn said.

“He carried the baton for the likes of me to follow in, and also with the likes of the trips he organised after his career ended I never had anything but joy and fun with him wherever we ended up,” he added.

FAI president John Delaney revealed how the association would be organising a tribute for Mr Treacy at their next home international against England on June 7, which he hoped would be a “fitting tribute” for the former international.

“He got 42 caps for the country, scoring five goals and was a tremendous character, but perhaps his greatest legacy was bringing thousands of fans across the world for various World Cups through his travel agency,” Mr Delaney said.

“Before the England game we’ll do a tribute for him, we’ll put him up on the big screen and we’ll look for a moments applause for him, which we be out special tribute for him,” he explained.

He also thanked Ray Treacy for bringing him together with Johnny Giles, whom he has had a firm friendship with ever since.

Turlough O’Connor, who played with Ray Treacy in the late 60’s, reminisced about how the pair both scored against Czechoslovakia to secure what would be Ireland’s first away victory for over four years.

“We were one goal down to Czechoslovakia in 1968 when Jack scored to level it, and later in the match he crossed for me to score the winner. I think it was our first victory for several years. It’s a great memory to have of him” Mr O’Connor said.

Speaking on RTE's Game On this evening, Eamon Dunphy said: "Ray played for Home Farm, I played for Stella Maris. Ray was a fantastic guy, a very good player who made the most of everything he had.

"Off the field he was very, very popular, great fun, great musically, he played the banjo as well as any professional musician. He was great friends with Luke Kelly, Paddy Reilly, Jim McCann who died sadly very recently as well.

"We used to have wonderful sing-songs and parties and that was one of Ray's designated duties with the Irish team as well as pulling on the shirt and doing the business. It was very, very sad."

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