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Remembering John Clarke

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Keane

John Clarke, who was 35 when he died in a tragic accident on the New England Thruway on Thursday night, will be remembered by everyone in the New York Gaelic Athletic Association as the quiet man of Gaelic football, someone who loved the game and played it at the highest level.

Starting at the Under-10 level with his brother James, John joined the Rangers Football Club. Under the guidance of his father, John, an All Ireland medal holder with Meath, and John Phelan he quickly excelled, winning numerous awards, including several New York championships, plus an all star award in 1980. Like his father years earlier, he played for Sligo in the New York championships.

To this writer, who refereed many of those games, he was a gentleman both on and off the field. The long line at Gallagher’s Funeral Home Sunday evening, and at Sacred Heart Church Monday in Greenwich, Conn., included many former teammates, players past and present, officers and members of the New York Minor and Senior Board’s family and friends.

To his wife Theresa and three young children, his mother and father, Bridget and John; sister Rosemary and family, brother James and family, grandmother, aunties and uncles, many relatives and friends, we extend our heartfelt sorrow and sincere sympathy to all, and as we say farewell, John.

(Mike Keane is president of the New York GAA Minor Board.)

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