FORMER basketball coach and referee Tony Hurley passed away in the Care Choice Nursing Home, Montenotte on Sunday, October 20, surrounded by his son Damien and family.
At the age of 25 Tony married the love of his life Carmel Healy. However, soon after the birth of their son Damien, Carmel passed away.
Tony lived all his life, apart from a few short years, at 13 St Rita’s Avenue, Gurranabraher surrounded by wonderful neighbours.
At a young age Tony followed his father Bob and his uncles Donal and Tommy into the building trade as a mason, where he worked for a large part of his life.
Tony was one of the last apprentices to be accepted into the mason’s guild while the trade was still closed, and people who had the pleasure of working with him considered him a master craftsmen.
Tony then went on to work for Blarney Street CBS as a caretaker, and later took up woodwork, a craft he also mastered.
His work, alongside his good friend Br Philip Ryan, with students in Blarney Street reignited Tony’s interest in basketball.
He had played as a youngster in Blarney Street and was part of the now long disbanded, Celtic Basketball Club who were the first club in Cork to have American players.
Tony poured every spare hour into coaching youngsters in the school and in Blue Demons Basketball Club.
He went on to become a basketball referee for a number of years, and was very dedicated and loyal to his fellow officials.
The biggest achievement of Tony’s basketball coaching career came when he coached the North Monastery Senior School Basketball team.
Partnered by his best friend and master coach, Dommie Mullins, they competed in the World Student Games in Brazil in 2003.
The last club Tony would coach, before retiring in 2007, was Brunell Ladies Basketball Club where he made many friend’s and helped numerous young people develop both on and off the court.
Tony then took up photography and golf which became his new pastimes, and also found time to paint and draw. Tony had many talents.
The final four years of Tony’s life were spent in Care Choice NursingHome, where he looked forward to visits from his son Damien, his wife Kay, adored grand children Sarah-Carmel and Jessica and his family and friends.
Like his father, Tony’s son Damien spends most evenings and many weekends, developing talented young boys and girls in the Gurranabraher area, not in basketball but in martial arts.
Damien would like to thank all his family for being there for his father when he was ill, and the family members who traveled for the funeral services.
Damien would also like to thank his many friends who attended or took part in the memorial services; it meant so much to his family.
Tony was a quiet man who lived a very simple life, but left so many good memories. He will never be forgotten by those who loved him.
May he rest in peace.