Chelsea fans will remember Skerries teenager Oran Tully with a special tribute at the Blues’ away match on Saturday.
The football world has paid tribute to superfan Oran, who had a bowel condition so rare it remains unnamed, after he passed away at the age of 19.
Oran was an avid Ireland, Bohemians and Chelsea fan who has been credited with doing more in a few short years to promote soccer in Ireland than others have in a lifetime.
Chelsea fans have pledged to honour the teen affectionately known as the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ in the nineteenth minute of their game against Bournemouth at Dean Court on Saturday.
Blues supporter Adam Loftus tweeted: “Bournemouth at home this Saturday. At the 19th minute we will clap for a minute in tribute for Oran Tully. Share this around! RIP.”
Because of his condition, Oran could not consume solid foods and was totally dependent on tube feeds – but he never let it get in the way of his football.
He was a midfielder and coach at Skerries FC and travelled the length and breadth of the country to support his beloved Bohs.
He met his idol Jose Mourinho not once but twice, and was one of the best-loved Ireland supporters known for his “infectious personality”.
In 2013, he appeared on Sky Sports series ‘My Special Day’, where his dreams came true and he got to meet The Special One and his Chelsea heroes.
Two years later, he met Mourinho and Blues’ skipper John Terry for the second time, posting a photograph with them on his social media.
He wrote: “Thank you for everything Jose. You will forever be the Special 1.
“You’ve done Everything for this football club. The greatest manager in our history and they sack you.
“You don’t know how much you mean to me, you’re the reason I want to be a manager. Thank you for inspiring me to be a manager and thank you for both times we’ve met.”
His local club, Skerries Town, said: “Oran’s love of football and infectious personality brightened up every academy, camp or training session he was involved in.
“The kids simply loved him and truth be known, so did the adults.
“This is a truly sad day for our club and our deepest condolences and sympathies go to Martin, Clare, Dara, Conall and Oran’s family & friends.
“We will miss you wee man, rest in peace.”
Bohemians issued a statement, saying: “RIP Oran Tully. He was one of, if not the most passionate Bohs/football fans out there.
“His passion and enthusiasm every week put a smile on many faces and he made every matchday experience better. His character is irreplaceable and we won’t see another like him.”
A regular at Ireland games, Oran would often be found among the most passionate fans leading the singing for the Boys in Green.
His YouTube account, which documented some of his experiences at games, has more than 1,000 subscribers.
Cork City player and Skerries native Steven Beattie said: “RIP Oran Tully, Ginger Mourinho, he will be missed at League of Ireland matches all across the country.
“A sad day for Skerries. Thoughts are with his friends and family.”
Chelsea FC posted: “Everybody at Chelsea Football Club is deeply saddened to learn that Chelsea fan Oran Tully has passed away.
“Oran was an inspiration when he visited us in 2013 and 2015 and made us all smile. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. Rest in peace, Oran.”
Oran’s heartbroken parents, Clare and Martin, will say their final goodbye at his funeral mass today, Thursday, at St Patrick’s Church in Skerries.
He is also sadly missed by his brothers Daire and Conall, granddad John and nana Betty, family and a large circle of friends.