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Team tribute Tragic captain Ogie Duffy's club mates make 'emotional' return to pitch

The much-loved young man died in a car crash just hours after playing in the U20s Ulster Championship semi-final last weekend

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Brendan Óg O'Dufaigh captained the Monaghan U-20s side

Brendan Óg O'Dufaigh captained the Monaghan U-20s side

Brendan Óg O'Dufaigh captained the Monaghan U-20s side

Members at Monaghan Harps GAA club are slowly coming to terms with the tragic death of their brightest talent Brendan Og O Dufaigh.

The much-loved young man died in a car crash just hours after playing in the U20s Ulster Championship semi-final last weekend

Club chairman Jimmy Croarkin said players took their first steps back onto the pitch on Thursday evening.

“There was an under 15 match and all the senior squad were together. We all went to the match together just for support and to be all together.”

“It was lovely they went out onto the pitch with the U15s to help them with the cool down it was really nice.”

“They all gave each other applause, it was emotional actually.”

The senior panel at the club came together on Friday night for the first time since last weekend's tragedy.

"Their next game is Tuesday night at home, it will be our first match.”

He added the club are lucky to have been able to access professional advice on how best to deal with the effects of the tragedy.

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The coffin of Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy is taken into St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan town (Niall Carson/PA)

The coffin of Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy is taken into St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan town (Niall Carson/PA)

The coffin of Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy is taken into St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan town (Niall Carson/PA)

“We did call them in when it happened on Saturday and had a talk with them. They’ve all had information and leaflets, they know support is there.

“He was so friendly and so close to quite a few of them.”

Jimmy said Ogie had been Man of the Match for the one game he had been able to play for the seniors this year.

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“He was just one of those talents. Look it, he would have played with Monaghan for the next 10 years definitely. He was that good.”

He added that Monaghan coach Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney had already recognised Ogie’s footballing talent.

“The Banty really fancied him, Banty made him the captain three years ago when he was over the minor team. He really wanted him to come onto the [county] team this year.”

Ogie was “very much the centre of everything going on” for the Monaghan Harps team.

“The older boys looked up to him and the younger boys just idolised him. He just had that aura about him he was very confident.”

“We are a town team and we don't produce many players like him. He was really hard on the pitch teams would send players to take him out of the game and his influence on the match.”

“It was just his life, it was something he loved. He was only going to get better.”

Jimmy added that he has coach Ogie when he was with the U11 and U12 panels which proved to be on the club’s most successful groups.

“From the group he grew up with, we had nine of them went onto the senior panel this year - that is how close they are. It's the biggest group we've ever taken through to the senior panel from our underage.”

Ogie’s parents Esther and Brendan are well known in the club and his sisters Claire and Aine play with the ladies team at Monaghan Harps.

He was laid to rest last Wednesday in Monaghan town where thousands of people lined the funeral route to pay their respects.

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