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Heartbreaking Brother of soccer club founder killed in car crash tells funeral his legacy will live on

Dave, your memory will live on through us all and for the next generation of coaches and volunteers at Laytown United.”

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The coffin of David Conroy is carried into the Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

The coffin of David Conroy is carried into the Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

David Conroy. Photo: INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

David Conroy. Photo: INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

A floral wreath for David Conroy at his funeral, Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

A floral wreath for David Conroy at his funeral, Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

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The coffin of David Conroy is carried into the Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

The brother of David Conroy - who died tragically in a crash - told his funeral how the family man had built Laytown United with his friends, a soccer club where his “heart will always be on that pitch.”

David Conroy died earlier this month in a three car collision. He was the sole occupant in a van, while a driver in another car, John Enright, also passed away, after the crash on the R152 at Keenogue in Duleek, Co Louth.

Mr Conroy, 41, a father-of-four, and originally from Ayrfield, Dublin, had helped found Laytown United soccer club several years ago, with his friends, his funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Laytown, heard.

The father had left a legacy to his club and to his community. David’s brother, Anthony, broke down as he told mourners dressed in Laytown kits: “Dave, your memory will live on through us all and for the next generation of coaches and volunteers at Laytown United…

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David Conroy. Photo: INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

David Conroy. Photo: INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

David Conroy. Photo: INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

“His heart will always be on that pitch and at that club in Seafield, with the people there that make it great,” Anthony said.

“David never let the lads give up, he told them not only could they win but they would win…

“As a coach and manager, his team would run through brick walls for him.”

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A floral wreath for David Conroy at his funeral, Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

A floral wreath for David Conroy at his funeral, Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

A floral wreath for David Conroy at his funeral, Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, Co. Meath. PIC: Conor O’Mearain / Collins

Gifts brought to the altar included a Liverpool FC shirt, David’s high-visibility work vest and popcorn.

While a family photo was carried to the altar by David’s wife, Jackie, who paused momentarily, weeping, to kiss the photograph.

The gifts, mourners heard, were all mementos signifying the father’s love of Jackie and their children, his devotion to Liverpool FC and soccer and his work ethic.

David had worked for 22 years at Morris Ventilation, alongside his best friend, Moe.

Anthony told how Jackie was his “soulmate” and that shortly after meeting her, he admitted his life had changed.

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David had regularly cooked complex meals for his family, as a way of showing his love, the Mass heard.

He’d regularly brought chocolate bars and cans of drink to his wife, as little acts of affection.

While he poured his time away from family and work, into helping build Laytown United with others.

His tireless work had led players to adore the club director so much “they’d even walk through walls for him,” Anthony said.

“Dave moved to Laytown with Jackie in 2004 and set up Laytown United,” an emotional Anthony added.

From there, the father convinced neighbours and friends to get involved in the club.

David became club director in 2016 and had been integral in building a community facility with his friends, for around 300 young people, Anthony explained.

Anthpny read out lyrics from Liverpool FC Anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone and a singer performed Songbird by Fleetwood Mac and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, in tribute to the father.

“He loved nothing more than to sit down with Jackie and the kids (to relax),” Anthony said.

“Dayne (David’s son) was the chief popcorn maker, before they would sit down to watch the football or a movie together.

“They were the happiest moments of his week, sitting on the couch, relaxing with the kids and Jackie…

“David loved his nights out because he loved his friends and he loved his nights in because he loved his family...

“David was great at everything he did, he was an amazing chef… everything had to be perfect…

“David Conroy would not be beaten by anything or anyone.”

Anthony told how his brother regularly phoned him and went through each four of his children’s names, speaking of all their achievements one-by-one.

But the closest Anthony had ever felt to his brother was when they’d shared a phone call from “halfway across the world” when Anthony was living in Australia.

“David met Jackie 19 years ago, at that moment their lives changed,” Anthony said.

“He said, ‘This one was alright.’ He quickly knew it was far more and they were proper soul mates.

“Everything he did, he did for her and his children… They were the best thing to ever happen to each other.”

As David’s coffin from the church This Place, a song devoted to Liverpool city by singer, Jamie Webster, rang out.

Mourners in Laytown FC kits formed a guard of honour, escorting the casket on its final journey.

The mourners offered the community-spirited man a heartfelt final applause.

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