KILMACUD Crokes’ Glenalbyn home paid a fitting tribute to Gerry Collins with the inaugural tournament named in his honour drawing large crowds throughout the day last Saturday.
Collins passed away earlier this year at the age of 57 of lung cancer but lives on as the face of the HSE’s QUIT campaign to encourage people to give up smoking. In the post-tournament presentations, a representative of the HSE informed the crowd that the advertisements have proven a big success with over 100,000 people in Ireland making attempts to quit off the back of the campaign.
A former Dublin footballer, Collins was a stalwart club member of the Stillorgan club and was great friends with current football chairman Sean Fox as well as Padraig McMenamin who was among the founders of the Mactech Cup in the 1990s.
The event brings together mixed teams with each side represented by minor, junior and senior stars with over 140 players in total.
In Saturday’s latest incarnation of the event, the Niall Muldoon-managed Red Hand Command side proved the eventual winners as a second half goal in the final saw them eventually prevail after a great day’s action.
Their side was captained by James Murphy while goalkeeper David Nestor was named as the player of the tournament. He was in good company with “elder” player of the tournament given to 2002 All-Star Ray Cosgrove, scoring 10 goals over the course of the eight-a-side competition.
Minor Kevin Creasy, for the Kellehampton team, was the young player. It was all played out with a band on the sidelines and marquee housing a large crowd.
Speaking afterwards, McMenamin said it was a fitting tribute to his friend: “I met Gerry with [current football chairman] Sean Fox when I came into the club. He’s been a great friend of mine through the years and will continue to be at a spiritual level.
“The Mactech Cup started in 1990 with an idea to get everyone playing together. It worked really well and I am really thrilled that it had moved on.
“It’s all about unity and getting together behind every team that takes the field right up to our senior team.”
Stephen Collins, son of Gerry, meanwhile thanked the crowds on behalf of the family. “It’s been a brilliant day. My dad is obviously associated with the club and today’s event which is all about the community.
“He would have loved it and so, on behalf of the family, thank you very much.”