Mr Leeds Michael Hourihan left an incredible legacy in the northside club

Hugely popular, Hourihan served every role with Leeds AFC until his untimely death in December
Mr Leeds Michael Hourihan left an incredible legacy in the northside club

Jason Yelverton, the late Micheal Hourihan, former Ireland star Damien Duff, Andy Mylod and Decky Feagan at the Aviva Stadium.

WHEN Micheal Hourihan passed away on December 31, he left a huge void in his beloved Leeds AFC that will never be filled.

His was the first face you would see when you attended a game there. He always met you with a smile on his face and always came out with a hilarious quote that only Micheal would get away with. 

He was known as Mr Leeds by everyone associated with the Northside club as he spent many hours working on the club grounds making sure everything was shipshape for all the teams to train and play their games.

One of his best friends John Quirke reflected on his impact. 

“Not only was Mickey a great friend of mine, he was also a great chairman and secretary when he held these positions in the club. 

The fascinating thing about Micky was he knew every one of our members by their first names from the academy to our senior team; he just had that great way about him.

“He played the squeeze box and we had many a good night in the Fox and Hounds Bar, as he would take over the MC duties at any function we had there.

“I would like to thank Mickey’s wife Norma his children Fiona, Declan, Ronan and Kieran, who supported and let us have him for the many hours he spent at the club. All three of his sons played for the club, however, Mickey would always have said that Fiona was the better player. 

"Fiona would eventually end up as his personal secretary as she did a lot of administration work dealing with all the emails for the club."

The late Micheal Hourihan with his wife Norma at Leeds AFC function a few years ago.
The late Micheal Hourihan with his wife Norma at Leeds AFC function a few years ago.

Current chairman Ger Manley also spoke highly of Micheal and his legacy.

“Micheal was a great communicator. If there were any clashes at committee level he would give a wink and a smile and say, 'I spoke to the two lads this week and everything is sorted,' and usually whatever would be the issue it was sorted. 

"His words at the start of every meeting would be: 'Ok people let's keep everything positive tonight as we will be here still in the morning if the meeting gets negative.' Micheal was one in a million and he is sorely missed around the club by everyone."


Former player and manager Decky Feagan spoke about how Micheal was a great mentor.

“Mickey was a legend in my eyes as he got me first involved in football and was a great help to me when I managed the club senior team over a 13-year period.

“He could be on the phone to me four or five a day trying to solve some problems or after a loss with the senior team. The calls in the end of the week would normally be to see who was in the team for the following game, as laughter broke out around the room at the Leeds clubhouse.

“Mickey was one of a kind, he would make every problem into something of nothing as he never got excited about anything. 'It will pass lads, let's move forward now,' he always would say with that cheeky smile on his face."

The late Micheal Hourihan with a big smile on his face when he would meet people at Leeds Park.
The late Micheal Hourihan with a big smile on his face when he would meet people at Leeds Park.

Former player and chairman Jason Yelverton recalled some great memories with Micheal.

“I would have known Micheal all my life as he was the first one to bring me down to Leeds in the first place as a young boy. As a player all our trips away were special as it didn’t matter if we won of lost.

Mickey would always take the mike on the bus and take over as MC and nobody was spared a slagging. 

"He then go on a play his squeeze box and a great sing-song would break out and it always made our journey a lot shorter.

“I also served at committee level with him, when I served as chairman and I must say he was one of a kind, we might not have agreed on certain things before a meeting, but by the time the meeting was over everything would be sorted as the club would come first."

He got a huge send-off at his funeral as all the club members past and present lined the streets from their clubhouse to the Glenthorn Church.

My own memories of Micheal are these. If I covered a game and it was a 0-0 draw, he would meet me with a big grin on his face and say, 'How did you write about that game last week? You have some imagination as that game was shocking!'

He was a great and wonderful character. Rest in peace my friend.

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