The tributes below, written by Mike Barry, appeared in the Vale Star edition of Thursday, 21st December 2017.
"Respectfully, we can not agree with Bill Shankly’s famous life/death/football quotation, though we doubt he meant it literally. The club lost three members between June and October this year and they are sorely missed by family, friends and club. Life is, indeed, much more important than football, and with 2017 almost down, it would be remiss of us to allow the year to pass without a short recollection of each of the three.
Luke O’Brien May, eighteen years old, passed away after a very short illness, during his Leaving Certificate exams in June. Even though Luke had not played for the club for a number of seasons, the fact that he lived just down the road in Grange, had numerous young friends locally, and the fact that his family are so intertwined with Holycross underage, made it seem like he was still very much part of the club. Luke was one of the most athletic kids in the club in his playing days, possessing explosive speed and tonnes of skill, but at the same time was one of the most unassuming and gentle personalities one could meet. This club PRO can still remember Luke helping his mom out on the pitches with the coaching of the ‘smallies’ after his own training had finished on a number of occasions.
Luke O'Brien May, front row, third from left. Photo from September 2006.
Tony Hourigan, aged 62, whose family are part and parcel of the club since it’s foundation, passed away in August following an illness. Tony, most would agree, was a gentle giant; a physically big man with a very calm and gentle nature. Tony, together with his many family members, have held every position in the club one can think of down the seasons and are a big part of the reason that Holycross soccer club has thrived over the years. Tony might be annoyed if we do not mention his sisters Nuala and Marie, so we do so now. The sideline support of both, Nuala in particular. very often proved to be the ‘twelfth man’ during the 1980s ‘gold rush’, driving the team on in an era of great club success.
Jimmy Brosnan, aged 56, like Luke and Tony, was also born and reared in Grange. Jimmy left us in October, following an illness, and a lifetime of service to the club. There were other family member contributions also from older brother Tony in the 1960s era and son Niall in times more recent. Jimmy’s daughter Nora also got in on the act in more latter times, managing to find a boyfriend who would soon become one of the most successful managers in the club’s history! Through the involvement of Micheál Costello, Jimmy was back on the sidelines once more, supporting family and club to the fullest.
Tony Hourigan, back row, fourth from left, and Jimmy Brosnan, back row, fourth from right. Photo from circa 1981.
All three, and extended families, are very very much in our thoughts and prayers as 2017 slips away. Gone but not forgotten. We Remember."