Football teammates pay tribute at funeral of Connor Currie

By Cate McCurry, Press Association

The football teammates of Connor Currie formed a protective circle around his coffin as a final tribute to the talented sportsman.

The 16-year-old was a “much-loved and highly thought of” player, Edendork Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club said previously.

Mourners at his funeral, held at St Malachy’s Church, Edendork, in Co Tyrone, heard he was a “courteous and appreciative” young student.

Hundreds of people spilled out of the church and on to the streets of the village as they said their final goodbye to the popular student.

The coffin arrives for the funeral of Connor Currie at St Malachy’s Church (Brian Lawless/PA)

Before his coffin was taken into the church, the group of young footballers linked arms as they said their heartbroken goodbyes to a much-loved teammate.

Fr Kevin Donaghy said: “Away from home he was a star as well, a conscientious student who had his sights set on doing accountancy, the office desk and computer set up in his bedroom a sure sign that he was preparing for a life of paperwork, computers and figures.”

Items to remember Connor were presented by his parents, Ciara and Eamon, and brothers Sean, Cormac and Cahir.

They included a family photograph, his school blazer, an Edendork football club jersey, his football boots and a trophy.

Fr Donaghy told mourners that times with Connor were “good times”.

He added: “Friends have recalled how he lit up a room as he entered it and his infectious smile warmed everyone’s hearts.

Connor Currie was described as a courteous and appreciative young student (St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon/PA)

“Teachers remember him as a courteous and appreciative young student, always in the habit of saying thank you as he left the classroom – though he maybe let that be the passport that got him through an odd bit of mischief as well.

“At home that thank you was a constant habit as well – he always spoke those words as he left the kitchen table.

“Unlike the usual reputation of teenage boys he was quite fussy about the tidiness of his room, the wardrobe hangers well used and clothes neatly folded in the drawer, no clutter in the room and everything in its place.

“He knew he was loved at home – as his parents said to me, he was a gem.

Fr Donaghy added: “And a winner indeed he was: a winner of a loving family; a winner of many loyal friends and teammates; a winner in school life and on the sports field – and a winner above all, of a place among the ranks of God’s children.”

Sinn Fein’s president Mary-Lou McDonald, deputy leader Michelle O’Neill and local MP Francie Molloy attended the funeral.