City loses its ‘extra man’

City loses its ‘extra man’

Noelle Feeney with her famous bottle of holy water for the Cork City players at a European game in Nantes, France. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

A SHINING light has gone out on Cork City FC with the passing of club stalwart Noelle Feeney.

One of the great characters of the club and indeed League of Ireland football as a whole she was the club’s legendary figurehead for years – since she joined the Cork City Supporters Club in 1988. The native of Pearse Road in Ballyphehane, Noelle passed away at Marymount hospital over the weekend.

She devoted herself to the current FAI Cup champions working on a voluntary basis for decades and was renowned for bringing a bottle of holy water with her onto the pitch to bless the City players before every game.

Former Cork City captain Greg O'Halloran described her as the "heartbeat" of Cork City.

“Noelle was the life and soul of the party and she was the heartbeat of the club. Everybody knew her up and down the country and in every League of Ireland ground around the country she was made more than welcome.

“She was Mrs Cork City to us all and she did everything for the club from cooking and cleaning to washing the gear and sprinkling the Holy Water on the lads before games. Cork City FC was her passion and she loved every minute of it,” said O’Halloran, who captained the team under Pat Dolan and Tommy Dunne.

“She used to babysit me and my brother Ian when we were kids and she was great friends with my late mother, Stella. She did unbelievable work for the club over the years and we will all miss her terribly,” added Greg.

She was the public face of the club for years and was a director for a time. She travelled all over Europe with the team and got to places she would never have dreamt of otherwise.

Among the foreign trips she was on were to Germany for the Bayern Munich game and also to Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Cyprus, Serbia and the Ukraine.

Among the charities she was involved with locally were the Breast Cancer Unit at the South Infirmary, the Samarians, the Kidney Association of Ireland and the Friends of Marymount.

She had been ill since before Christmas and only two weeks ago she was presented with a Southside & District Special Lifetime Achievement award for her life-long contribution to sport and Cork City FC and to various charity fund-raising ventures she was involved with for over 30 years including Marymount itself.

The special presentation was made by Sean O'Sullivan, Awards Co-Ordinator, Southside & District Sports Awards and members of her family including her son, John, Mary Casey, Ray Hennessy, Helen Heffernan, Jim & Linda Feeney, Stephen Feeney and Angela & Frank Feeney attended the function at Marymount.

She is survived by her son John, brothers Sean, Stephen and Jim, sisters Helen and Mary and the late Nan, Christy and Valerie.

Her Removal is tonight from O’Sullivan’s Funeral Home, Turner’s Cross at 8.15p.m to Ballyphehane’s Church of the Assumption and her Mass is at 12pm tomorrow, funeral to at St Joseph’s Cemetery afterwards.

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