Farnaught, Westport, Co Mayo
Tony passed away peacefully on July 5, 2020 at the age of 83. Tony had been living with Alzheimer’s for a number of years. Just over a year ago he required care in a nursing home due to a decline in his health. In the nursing home he was reacquainted with old friends from his football past and working life. His absence is very much felt in the nursing home by staff and patients alike.
He was well loved and a popular member of the community. The one recurring word that was used to describe Tony is that he was a gentleman. Having played successfully at so many sports his acquaintances were far and wide. An impressive figure of a man, he spent some early years in Newcastle where many of his brothers and sisters lived. Soon after returning to Ireland to settle down with his wife Kay, they started what was to be a big family of ten. Tony was very close to all of his brothers and sisters and he was eighth in a family of ten. He always spoke fondly of his mother Annie and his father James.
Dad loved nothing more than a family get together and he really enjoyed the bit of fun with the grandchildren and often took part in games. It always brought a smile to his face to see his grandchildren having fun and loved a bit of banter about soccer. He was always interested to see what the grandchildren were doing and loved to see their style. He enjoyed the cheekiness from the small ones and often laughed out loud at the fun they brought.
Other than his sporting achievements, Dad was a very musical man. He was a self taught musician of many instruments and was also a very good singer. Many a family celebration would end up with Dad taking to the stage to sing a song. Dad also loved poetry and had the knack of a good rhyme. Words would often bring him to tears and bring him back to old times.
Dad loved a pint and was very social and loved nothing more than a good old catch up and a game of darts. He loved nature, and so he combined his working life with time in the bog, making the hay and fishing like all the men of that era.
Dad was a man ahead his time, one quality that stood out for us, his children, was Dad’s innate sense of social injustice. He never followed the crowd and was happy to make a stance when he saw any injustice being done. Class distinction was never an issue for Dad, he gave everyone equal respect be it political, religious or sporting indifference. He always took peoples opinions on board and loved nothing more than seeing the underdog succeed.
The affection with which people said goodbye to Tony was clearly evident in the community in Westport on July 8. Even when people could not convey their condolences in person because of Covid-19 restrictions the family were very moved by the messages, phone calls, cards and online sympathies and people reaching out with their support.
The Browne Family would like to thank Westport United for all the help and kind words over the difficult days. They look after their past, present and future players so well. The family would also like to send a special thanks to family friend Kenneth Gannon.
We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Nursing Home staff and Western Alzheimer’s in their care and attention of Dad for the last year of his life. Thank you to McGing’s Funeral Home, Fr Charlie McDonnell, Bishop Ray Browne, gravediggers, The Castlecourt Hotel, Centra and The Helm and everyone who helped in anyway in our time of need.
Very sadly missed and much loved by his wife Kay, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sisters Rena and Margaret, brother Joseph, nephews, nieces, extended family, neighbours and friends.