Ronnie Elliott of 20 Beechgrove Park, Ballinamallard passed away on September 4, 2016, suddenly at South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.

Ronnie’s funeral service took place in Magheracross Parish Church, Ballinamallard on Wednesday, September 7 and was conducted by Archdeacon Brian Harper, the Rev. Charlie Eames and the Rev. Mark Gallagher.

A tribute has been paid to him by his family, who said whilst there is huge sadness at his passing, they want to remember the highlights of a life their dad enjoyed to the fullest.

Ronald Elliott, aged 65, was born on May 5, 1951 to George and Isabella Elliott; he was their only child. He grew up at Whitehill, Ballinamallard and attended Shanmullagh and Ballinamallard primary schools.

He later attended secondary school in Ballinamallard and went from there to serve his apprenticeship in engineering at Slack and Parr. Ronnie was the Apprentice of the year at Slack and Parr in 1971 when he was 20.

Following his apprenticeship he went to the Polytech at Jordanstown for teacher training. His love of how things operated or how things were made drove him to this profession. Most people who knew him will know that there wasn’t much he didn’t know how to make or fix.

It was during his apprenticeship years that he met Jane Rebecca Florence Thompson (Jean) at a dance in the Manor House. They started dating in 1968, and on November 1, 1975 they were married at Enniskillen Free Presbyterian Church.

His family recollects by this time Ronnie was a teacher in Fermanagh College and remained there until he was made redundant. During his time at Fermanagh College he was very proud of many of his engineering achievements; his family remembers one of them being when he built a hovercraft with a talented student, Mark Fisher. He also made and fixed numerous things at home, including a boat.

During his time at Fermanagh College his three children were born – Nicola (Clendinning), Jacqueline (Jackie) and Mark.

Following being a teacher he had a number of other occupations but came full circle when he ended up in the skills centre in Enniskillen as a technician and part time Lecturer for the last 13 years of his life. They said it was a post he thoroughly enjoyed and only just retired from in March of this year.

Ronnie’s family recalls that their dad had many loves – his love of football, a game he excelled at playing. In his early career he played for Kesh as a young lad, Enniskillen Corinthians, Lisbellaw and Lisnarick before coming to play for Ballinamallard United Football Club in 1982.

Whilst playing for the Corinthians first team he was part of the team that were the first team in Fermanagh to win the treble, Mulhern Cup, Mercer League and the Top Four (which became the Kennedy Cup).  

Then whilst playing for BUFC in 1986/87 he was on the team that achieved their highest ever finish in the Fermanagh and Western League, finishing runners up. It must have been his “left peg” that gave him the edge.

He was a very talented footballer and indeed in his later career as a manager, alongside Basil Wallace managing the BUFC first team to winning the Mulhern Cup and Top Four in the season of 1989/90.

He loved to see the club progress and develop. He was very proud to be part of a club that had progressed to the premier division and one with such a forward thinking youth scheme. He was a trustee of the club and current chairman of the clubhouse committee. He was an integral part of the club and enjoyed being part of the organising team. He enjoyed helping others and bringing them on.  

He also turned his hand to helping to organise the town festival. He just enjoyed involving others and being part of the town community.  

Apart from Ballinamallard United, his other great passion in football was Tottenham Hotspur, a team he supported through thick and thin for many years. He was a dedicated member of the Spurs Supporter Club in Ballinamallard and he enjoyed many trips to see them play, memories which Jean, Mark and his life long friend Sammy Shaw will appreciate and indeed anyone that was on the trips! 

He was a very popular person with a wide circle of friends which has been very obvious from the number of visitors that they have had since his passing and the large turnout at his funeral. For them, it has been lovely to hear everyone’s stories about Ronnie.  

He loved to see new places throughout Ireland and on holiday abroad – Portugal, Majorca, Canada, France to name a few. He loved his family the most. His grandchildren were everything to him; Dale, Charlie and Joshua gave him a new life. 

In their tribute, his family acknowledged Ronnie loved life and enjoyed himself immensely along the way but the love of his life was their mother.  

They admit they are not sure how to have a life without their dad in it but they are a good team, and the memories he created for them will help them survive. They said Ronnie will be sorely missed.

The funeral arrangements were by Austen Stinson, WT Morrison Funeral Directors.