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Brandywell hero Willie Curran was a 'star on and off pitch'

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Derry star: The funeral of former Derry City player Willie Curran at St Eugene’s Cathedral

Derry star: The funeral of former Derry City player Willie Curran at St Eugene’s Cathedral

Derry City hero Willie Curran

Derry City hero Willie Curran

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Derry star: The funeral of former Derry City player Willie Curran at St Eugene’s Cathedral

Mourners at the funeral of Derry City football legend Willie Curran heard how his celebrity status in the city never diminished throughout his life.

Administrator of St Eugene's, Fr Paul Farren, recalled the many accolades bestowed on Mr Curran (90), decades after he left the Brandywell pitch.

Mr Curran passed away on Sunday night.

Fr Farren said: "Willie was a character - a big character and a great character.

"In ways he was a celebrity in Derry and beyond with his giftedness as a footballer. Even in retirement, and right to the end, his celebrity status never changed.

"His achievements in football have been celebrated during his life, which is wonderful. In 2018 he received an award for lifetime voluntary service to Derry City Football Club and then in 2019 he became the first man inducted to the Derry City Hall of Fame."

The congregation heard how away from the world of soccer, Mr Curran had spent a life dedicated to his family.

Fr Farren continued: "Willie was a hard worker all his life, providing for his family. When his father died he took on the responsibility for caring for his mother and siblings, working three jobs. Even after he married Elizene Willie continued to do it and of course then he provided for his own family too.

"He was very proud of all of this.

"His family were very proud of him. Willie was blessed with his family. You were so dedicated to him and you cared for him so tenderly."

Following Requiem Mass, Mr Curran was laid to rest in the City Cemetery.

Belfast Telegraph


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