A “gentleman in the truest sense” is how Brothers Pearse hurling club described Declan Sexton, who passed away on 25 March following a battle with cancer. He was just 27.
From Ennistymon in Co Clare, Declan was a mainstay of the Pearse’s team which enjoyed London intermediate county and All-Britain provincial success in 2017.
After graduating from the University of Limerick in 2015 with a degree in Civil Engineering, he moved to London where he worked as a site engineer with Keltbray.
Declan immediately followed in his father Tom’s footsteps by joining Brothers Pearse.
He proceeded to make the Pearse’s number five jersey his own – he started the 2017 county and provincial finals in at wing back – and it was Declan who set Pearse’s on their way to All-Britain victory over Manchester’s Fullen Gaels at Pairc na hEireann by setting up two of the London side’s opening three scores.
He’d already played his part in Pearse’s London intermediate final win over Thomas McCurtains at Ruislip, and subsequently started the club’s All Ireland Club JHC quarter-final against St Mogues of Wexford.
A historic occasion for the club, it was the first time Pearse’s had played in the club championship since 1998.
2017 also saw Declan and Pearse’s claim the McCullagh Cup.
He was called up to the London county senior hurling panel in late 2018, but was forced to withdraw due to ill health.
Declan was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and started chemotherapy treatment.
A fundraising night in aid of Declan and Cancer Research UK was held at Hennessys Bar in Kingsbury on 1 June 2019.
The target for the event was £1,000, but it ended up raising more than £5,000.
In a statement posted on social media, Brothers Pearse extended its “heartfelt condolences to the Sexton family on the devastating loss of Declan”.
The club said: “He dealt remarkably with his diagnosis last year, always with a positive outlook and during his time out from playing he emerged as a more vocal figure on the sideline during club action last year.
“It makes his sudden loss all the more cruel that although he was invaluable on the sideline last year, it truly was Declan’s aim and belief that he would be back where he belonged on the field this year.
“He was the best representative any club could ask for, hard working, decent and always lending support. On his road from recovery since last summer he immersed himself in various club activities and social gatherings such as weddings, engagement parties and the London Gala Dance in Clayton Chiswick just this February.
“Anyone who spent any amount of time with Declan were all the better for it, and he is already gravely missed by all the lads he played alongside, as well as all who crossed his path within the club over the past few years.”
Funeral Arrangements: Friday 29th May
Procession from house (postcode V95 E4X7) to Ennistymon Church at 1pm
Due to current restrictions funeral mass and church access is restricted to family