FIGURES on the London hurling scene have paid tribute to the late Tommy Dargan, who died last Thursday at the age of 69.
A sub-contractor from Tipperary, Tommy passed away in his hometown having suffered from throat cancer for the last eight months.
He spent around 40 years of his life in London and was renowned for keeping hurling alive in England’s capital, particularly through his involvement with the now defunct Clan na Gael and Sean Treacy’s.
Former Sean Treacy’s chairman Martin Carroll spoke highly of Tommy when contacted by The Irish Post.
“Clan Na Gael disbanded about three years ago, but Tommy had kept them going for so long,” he said.
“He was a great man for recruiting players, getting them accommodation and getting them jobs – Mick Flemming and Paul Butler for example. They would have hurled for Clan na Gael and then went on to my club Sean Treacy’s.
“They were always exceptional players and most would play for London. He was fond of bringing over a few fliers as well though,” he laughed.
“Tommy was a great character, everyone had time for him, a lovely guy and spent all his earnings on hurling, because that’s the sort he was.
“He’d go and buy the hurls, the balls and he’d even pay for lads to go home for weddings and what have you. He was only a working man himself like. But his heart was in hurling, he was so loyal to the game.
“You couldn’t get him to talk about anything other than hurling. We used to have a good old laugh together.”
Meanwhile, St Gabriels legend Ambrose Gordon recalls the time the charismatic Tipp native took to the Ruislip pitch at the grand old age of 64.
He said: “He was only about 5ft 5 and I remember him togging out for Clan na Gael in Ruislip, he must have been in his mid 60s.
“They only had 14 players, and he wouldn’t take the trousers off, but on he went with the long trousers, helmet, glasses and shoes. Tommy was an unbelievable character, one of the greatest I’ve ever met in London.
“He was a hurling fanatic and he did so much for it here. He was a legend in London and kept hurling alive in this city. He was one of those guys who never stopped putting his hand in his pocket for the sport and he gave good hurlers work.
“In the 1990s, a great hurler by the name of John Quinn from Tipperary came to London. Tommy was the man responsible for bringing John over.
“John was a great hurler – played for London against Galway in the ‘90s. But that’s the calibre of hurlers Tommy brought to London over the years.”
Meanwhile, Tir Chonaill Gaels have paid tribute to their former member Colm Tully, who passed away last Friday.
A club statement said: "The club was deeply saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Colm Tully on Friday evening.
"Colm, with his brothers and nephews to follow all played with the Geals and were devout supporters when they hung up their boots for the decades to follow.
"Colm was present with his family at the 1990 25 year anniversary only a few weeks back. We extend our sincere sympathies to his wife Catherine, his son and all the Tully and Delargey family."