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Tributes for tragic GAA player Phelim Brewster

By Nevin Farrell

Published 01/12/2015

Phelim Brewster
Phelim Brewster

Tributes have been paid to a well-known former GAA player described as an "amazing character" who died suddenly at his home in Co Armagh.

GAA members and the wider community are expected to turn out in large numbers at St Anthony's Church in Legahory on Thursday for the funeral of 43-year-old Phelim Brewster from Pinebank in the Tullygally area of Craigavon.

He was the former captain and player for the Eire Og club and a large number of tributes have been paid to him.

Family friend Thomas Larkham said he was an "absolute gentleman".

"He was a neighbour of mine and he would be well known in the area and anytime we were doing things like estate clean-ups he would be one of the first people to offer his help," he said.

"He had helped out a lot with community work and with the residents' group. Any time anything needed done he was always the first one there to help.

"He always would be out and about with the kids - eight or nine from our row - and he maybe had them all out giving them private golf lessons on a bit of a green near his house.

"He was always giving them one-to-one lessons on different sports and things like that.

"He was a quiet man and was always sound for advice.

"Phelim was always very supportive and a very encouraging type of a man.

"His death is a tragedy. He was very well known in the GAA throughout the county. He was a very big Gaelic man and very well respected in the club and beyond."

An Eire Og club statement said: "It is with a heavy heart and much regret that we learned of the untimely and tragic passing of our former player, lifelong member and, more importantly, great friend Phelim Brewster.

"Amazing characters like Phelim grace our club community very rarely and it is a testimony to him and his infectious nature as to how the community has reacted to this terrible, terrible news.

"To his wife Una, his lovely children and the whole Brewster family circle we would like to extend our deepest sympathies in such a time of need.

"We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers during the difficult times ahead. To Phelim, the man, the legend, may you rest in peace buddy."

Mr Brewster was a member of Lurgan's St Peter's Athletics Club and they said: "Phelim was always a friendly face taking time to chat and always encouraging others. His presence will be sorely missed."

Mr Brewster was married to Una and dad of James, Clara and Michael.

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