Belfast Telegraph

Football legend Roy Coyle mourning loss of grandchild

BY JOANNE SWEENEY

Football has united in sympathy for legendary football manager Roy Coyle on the recent loss of his granddaughter Darcy.

Born with an incurable genetic condition, the 12-year-old died after a life filled with love.

Described as a "much loved, precious daughter" of former Everton and Linfield player Darrin and his wife Janet, Darcy suffered from rare genetic disorder neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy.

Awareness of the disease, which affects one in 20,000 people, was raised by the film Lorenzo's Oil, named after the son of the family who discovered the treatment which can ease the symptoms.

Doctors had said Darcy, younger sister of Jade and Joshua, wouldn't live beyond the age of 10.

She died at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry on October 29 with her parents by her her side. Her funeral was held at Loughbrickland Presbyterian Church on Friday.

Her mother praised and thanked several organisations, including Daisy Hill, the Children's Hospice and Donard Special Care School, Banbridge, that had helped care for Darcy throughout the years.

Janet remarked how happy she had been: "She was always smiling and laughed a lot.

"The staff at Daisy Hill really did all they could for Darcy on Tuesday," her mother said. "The Children's Hospice have been a tremendous support to us over the years, as well as Donard School who had her doing everything."

She enjoyed a "fairytale trip" to Paris with her other friends and carers at Donard.

The Community Children's Nursing Teams in Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry were also thanked for their care.

Glentoran observed a minute's silence before the club's game against Ballymena last Saturday as a mark of respect for its director of football, and posted its condolences online.

Linfield also posted: 'The sympathy of all at Linfield is extended to former manager Roy Coyle and his son, former Linfield player Darrin Coyle, whose 12-year-old daughter Darcy has sadly passed away. Audaces Fortuna Juvat. (Fortune favours the brave).'

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