Legendary local footballer dies

Published: 5 Jul 2012 13:000 comments

One of the true Enniskillers, Pat McCaffrey, whose beloved Tottenham Hotspurs inspired him to become a legend in his own right with Enniskillen Corinthians, has died.

Pat McCaffrey.

Pat, who was affectionately known as Banty McCaffrey, from Kilmacormick Road, Enniskillen, grew up in the centre of Enniskillen where street football was the pastime. This led Pat to become one of the stars of the former Enniskillen Corinthians team in the late 1960s and early 70's which became the first Club in the Fermanagh and Western League to win the treble.

Displaying an "educated left foot", he played with great effect on the left wing and was a great taker of free kicks and corner kicks.

Born in 1949, in the area of the old Militia buildings close to Queen Street, he attended Abbey Street Primary School, St. Michael's Primary School in Belmore Street and St. Joseph's Secondary School.

He began working life as a newspaper boy, working for Donnelly's Darling Street, delivering newspapers around the town. He also worked at the Lough Gates and for Enterprise Ulster and the former Borough and County Councils.

He played football in his youth with those he grew up with such as Martin Rooney, Frankie Roofe, Clive Irvine, Paddy Lynch, Mickey Flynn and Paddy Gillen.

He would have watched the former Corinthians team playing in the old Broadmeadow ground but got his first taste of team football with the Olympic team from the old streets in the Corry Cup.

His greatest success was with the Enniskillen Corinthians team until the club disbanded. He then played for Enniskillen Town but later moving to the Roadhouse Team which was largely made up of former players from the Corinthians. He played for this successful team for a number of years in the mid 1970's.

A lifelong fan of Tottenham Hotspur in an era which enjoyed tremendous success through Bill Nicholson with the likes of Jimmy Greaves and Danny Blanchflower, he enjoyed football on and off the pitch. He also enjoyed a flutter in the bookmakers.

A friend said this week that with a number of his former team mates now passed on, Pat may well be looking for that left wing position once again!

Pat was buried in the family plot at Convent Cemetery following Mass in St. Michael's Church.

His is survived by his wife, Maureen; mother, Josephine and sister Josephine.

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