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The late Hugh has left behind a rich legacy in Fermanagh

Obituary

By John Campbell

The passing of former Fermanagh player and manager Hugh McCabe has occasioned deep sadness throughout the county and indeed the province as a whole.

The Belcoo native, who was 62-years-old, was synonymous with football within the county and played a big part in promoting the ideals of the GAA there.

It was after blossoming as a club player that he was brought into the county squad, where he made an immediate impact.

He won a Dr McKenna Cup medal with Fermanagh in 1977 as well as a National Football League Division Three honour in 1981. In all, he spent 10 years in the county side figuring mostly at centre-half-back.

When he called time on his inter-county career, he turned to management and took over as the Ernesiders boss in 1992.

It was in 1993 that he took Fermanagh to the cusp of what would have been a famous Ulster Championship preliminary round win when they held a handsome lead over Armagh only to find themselves outgunned in the closing minutes. The county has yet to win the Ulster title.

Hugh went on to make his mark in the club management sphere with teams such as Dromore, Errigal Ciaran and Mullahoran.

Fermanagh county board spokesman Pauric McGurn paid this tribute: "Hugh lit up any room he entered by his very presence and gave great service to the GAA in Fermanagh. He made a tremendous contribution to the sport and will be sorely missed."

Hugh's son Shane represented Fermanagh and also played for Portadown, Glenavon and Glentoran in the Irish League.

Hugh's funeral took place yesterday and the huge attendance reflected the esteem in which he was held.

He is survived by his wife Cathy, son Shane and daughters Sinead, Kelly, Karine, Stacey and Natasha and his large family circle.

JC

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