By Damian Dolan
St Brendan’s GAA club in Birmingham dedicated its Under 17 Cup victory at the All-Britain Competition on Sunday to the club’s vice president and underage manager Adrian McGee, who passed away last month at the age of 51.
The players wore black armbands and a minute’s silence was observed before the club’s final with London side St Kiernans at Tir Chonaill Park in Greenford.
The emotion was then palatable as St Brendan’s captain Sean Doyle lifted the cup, which prompted joyous celebrations.
The son of St Brendan’s founder member Walter McGee (RIP), Adrian was a Detective Superintendent with Warwickshire Police. He was due to retire and start “a new chapter in his life” with his wife Marie.
St Brendan’s Under 17 management team of Finbar Geraghty, Owen McGettrick and Moss Hartnett were keen to play tribute after the side’s poignant win.
“We’ve dedicated this win to Adrian,” said St Brendan’s Under 17 manager Finbar Geraghty. “We wanted to win this for him 100 per cent.
“All of the players dug in and played above themselves for Adrian. We’re so proud to have had a man like that in our club.
“It makes me so proud to bring this cup back to St Brendan’s in Birmingham for Adrian McGee and his father Walter.
“He was a stalwart of our club; he was the best thing to ever happen to the St Brendan’s. He was a friend of everyone at the club. There wasn’t a kid in our club who couldn’t adhere to him or talk to him.
“Just the week before he died his took my son to a tournament in Nottingham, just for football. He was a born and bred GAA man.”
“Everyone here is emotional; everyone is crying. That’s what our club is about, we’re a family club. Hopefully we can do this more often in his name.”
Mr McGee’s passing comes as the St Brendan’s club prepares to mark its 60th anniversary. The club’s under 16s and under 18s are due to take part in this year’s GAA Continental Youth Championships (CYC) in Boston in August.
St Brendan’s Under 15 manager, Mr McGee would have been at the ABC tournament all weekend supporting all of the club’s participants.
St Brendan’s Under 17 assistant manager Owen McGettrick, added: “He was the glue of our club. He was such a beautiful man – it’s a big loss to Brendans. There aren’t too many gentlemen like him.
“I’m so proud to be involved with these boys to bring the cup home for his wife, his mother and the family. It’s immense.”