Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville stalwart Dessie Kirkwood was loyal to Reds through dark times

Obituary

Cliftonville are mourning the loss of the club's long serving Dessie Kirkwood.

The north Belfast side said they were "deeply saddened" to learn of Dessie's passing on Friday night. He was in his 80s.

His passion and knowledge for the game was extraordinary and it was the Reds who benefited from that wisdom and vision for more than seven decades.

Dessie performed a variety of roles including secretary, and he also served the Olympic's administrative offices. Despite suffering from ill health, he continued to attend games at Solitude where he will be fondly remembered as a genuine friend of the club and real gentleman. Dessie followed Cliftonville for 77 years, a love affair that kicked off when his father brought him to matches.

He rated his favourite games as the 1979 Irish Cup final defeat of Portadown and the 1-1 draw with Glentoran in April 1998 that saw his beloved Reds crowned champions for the first time in his life.

Dessie helped the Reds stay afloat during stormy times and his many friends in the Irish League offer deep condolences to his family.

GL

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