London’s hurlers remember Cathal

London’s hurlers remember Cathal

Fundraising cycle for popular Kilburn Gael who died in training, aged just 28

Four years after the death that shook hurling in the city the club are honouring Cathal with a charity cycle, after the player died suddenly while training with the club.

They will be raising money for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in his name from 28-31 July. This Friday, 8 July, their event in Tony’s will help to raise more funds for the cause, and popular band Already Legends will be performing.


Cathal, a 28-year-old Gort native, was corner-back of the 2010 Hurling Senior Championship winning team, the club’s first ever county title, and was one of four Forde family members playing with the Gaels.

In April 2012, he attended a hurling session at Kilburn’s Highgate training ground when he collapsed suddenly, and despite quick response from players, the police and ambulance, could not be resuscitated.

Speaking afterwards, his brother Noel, who was with him at training said: “There was no indication that anything was wrong until he collapsed. He wasn’t in any distress during the session. The first sign something was wrong was when he was on the ground. It was his heart.”

The tragedy, and other SADS deaths in sport, has prompted sports authorities to administer cardiac screenings for young players. Now the club, who were so heavily affected by Cathal’s passing, are doing their bit to contribute towards helping deal with the issues of SADS. Fourteen clubmen will embark on a four-day trip over 396 miles in July, as they travel from their Highfield hurling pitch to Cathal’s hometown of Gort.

His brothers Niall and Liam, and cousin Brian, are part of the twelve cyclists who are travelling from London to Stratford-upon- Avon, to Corwen, to Holyhead, to Dublin to Gort. Also traveling are Stephen Lambert, Henry Vaughan, Seamus Richardson, Keith Kennedy, Kevin Campion, Paul Killilea and selector Francis Keating. Team manager Tom Bergin and Chris McAlinden will travel with the team also.

They will be raising money for The Cormac Trust and for MS Ireland. The Cormac Trust was set up after the sudden death of Cormac McAnallen in 2004.

Multiple Sclerosis

Kilburn are also raising funds for MS Ireland as Noel Harrison, an ex-player and who coached Cathal and the rest of the Gaels on the way to their first senior title in 2010, is suffering from MS. Funds raised will go to the Mid West regional office for MS, where Noel will be receiving treatment.

Kilburn selector Francis Keating said: “We just wanted to do something to keep Cathal’s memory going. His family are delighted with what is planned and to be involved. There’s a lot of training been done now that it is coming up so soon, and after we get to Dublin, there are about 40 other cyclists from clubs all over Ireland joining us for the last leg to Gort.”

• If you would like to find out more visit

• To donate online visit: halcycle2016

• Tickets for Friday night can be purchased through any Kilburn Gaels club member or by calling Francis Keating on 07831455497


Sign in or create your account to join the discussion

Register now to keep up to date with all the latest:

  • Irish News
  • Sport
  • Community and Entertainment

Sign up to our Newsletter to be in with a chance to win a snazzy iPad and for all the latest...

  • Email updates
  • Regular features
  • Competitions and give aways