Tributes to GAA boss Francie Doone who died at cycle event
Tributes were paid last night to a GAA manager who died of a suspected heart attack while taking part in a charity cycle event just eight days after the jubilation of his team winning a major trophy.
Francie Doone (51), from Gawley's Gate, was manager of the Glenavy team that was celebrating on October 17 after defeating Dunloy in the Antrim Intermediate Championship final.
But tragedy struck yesterday as he took part in a memorial cycle event in Co Armagh.
He was riding with a group which had left Lissummon community centre near Jerrettspass.
It is believed he suffered a coronary.
The incident happened on the Newry Road outside Newtownhamilton at around 12.45pm.
CPR was administered on the roadside within 30 seconds before emergency services arrived on the scene.
He was rushed to hospital but passed away a short time later.
The charity cycle event was in aid of leukaemia research.
On behalf of the Ride On For Raff memorial charity cycle event, a spokeswoman said: "We would like to convey our sincere condolences to the family and friends of fellow cyclist Francis Doone of Glenavy who tragically collapsed and passed away in hospital this afternoon following our cycle.
"May he rest in peace.
"Around 50 people were taking part in that particular cycle. It was friends and family of the man who it was in memory off."
Gavin Phillips, secretary of St Joseph's GAA club, Glenavy, said: "He was taking part in a cycle event and we believe he took a heart attack.
"He was the manager, and managed the team when we won the Intermediate Championship last week, and he was an ex-player. He was a very healthy guy and never drank or smoke nor anything like that, and it is a big shock that he died the way he did.
"We would like to pass on our condolences to his wife and family."