Westport Utd captain Gary Cunningham reflects on the sudden passing of his team-mate and friend, Adam Mulchrone
“THE last seven days or so have been the toughest we’ll ever go through. The loss of Adam is something that you could never plan for, no-one knows what to do, so we’ve all just tried to stick together as much as we can. And that’s what we did.
“We have to be there for Adam’s family. That’s what we tried to do, and we hope we did that for them.
We had our first training since Adam’s death on Sunday morning.
Our manager, Padraig Burns, said a few words beforehand which were good, and he talked about what we can do going forward. But there is that feeling of emptiness there.
Adam’s memory will be at the front of our minds all the time and it’s not going to go away. It’s all about being there for each other and doing the best we can when we get out on the field.
This was something that we hadn’t planned for. We’re a tight group anyway, but this has brought us so much tighter in a different way. We’ve seen different sides of people.
We’ve had to open up, and it’s tough on the lads because some have never experienced anything like this. While, unfortunately, some have experienced a tragic and sudden death like this before.
One of my earliest memories of Adam was at an underage game.
There was a free-kick and I remember being told, ‘Ah sure Adam will score this’. And up he popped and stuck it into the top corner. I was thinking there and then that this fella needs to be watched.
Even on his debut with us against Ballyglass. He was just brought on and took a free-kick and it went into the top corner for the equaliser. Not many people make their debut at 16 years of age and score a free-kick! Not many would be allowed to even take it!
Everyone who knew Adam knew he was a quiet lad. He wouldn’t be one to stand up in front of a group and talk, but he’d let you know his opinion in his own way. He might text you if he had something to say, or he’d do it in his own way.
On the pitch though he was something else. He would ruin most of us in training, especially me as a goalkeeper. He could dink a ball over you, or do whatever he wanted to do with his feet. He wouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes either, even if something didn’t pay off and he got an earful off one or two of the lads, he’d try it again and it would pay off.
He worked very hard when he wanted something. That was his personality.
Even in the last couple of weeks, Padraig Burns said that Adam pulled him aside and was asking what he had to do to get back in the team. Not, ‘why was he not in the team?’
A few more years development and he would have been one of the best players in the Mayo League, and could have even played at a higher level.
We’ll all miss Adam very much, and send our thoughts and prayers to his family and all his friends.”
In conversation with Ger Flanagan