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Jackie is a big loss

Published 30/11/2015

Jackie Cooley, a man who devoted many years of service to Coleraine FC, has died in his native Londonderry.

Jackie was club trainer for a time but is probably best remembered by older fans as the man who was responsible for ensuring the club's numerous Maiden City players arrived safely at the Showgrounds on match days and for training.

He drove the club minibus back and forward three times a week and often more. It affectionately became known as 'The Derry Ferry' and when Jackie finally decided he was getting too old for the job, his son Eddie got behind the wheel with Jackie alongside him as navigator.

Jackie was a wonderful ambassador for the club, known and loved across the country.

He knew his football and counted numerous top players as friends.

He served at Coleraine for several decades, before the Bertie Peacock era, and former manager Victor Hunter described him as "a true legend" and a "dyed in the wool Coleraine stalwart".

BBC Sport broadcaster Grant Cameron knew Jackie well. He said: "Jackie was an absolute gem. He loved football, Coleraine and conversation.

"He shared a treasure trove of memories with me over the years and it was always time well spent being in his company."

Jackie was over 90-years-old.


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