The Longford Town Supporters' Club would like to extend its deepest and sincere sympathies to Kathleen Nolan and family, Legan, on the death earlier this month of Noel.
Though a proud Dublin man where he was born and reared and later worked with An Post, Noel became more Longford than many Longfordians when he moved here many decades ago. Noel was a regular on the supporters' club bus as we traversed Ireland north, south east and west. His deep knowledge and passion for the game was the stuff of legends. Noel was an avid match programme collector and even had a custom built shed for the purpose. One week , there might be a discussion on the bus about who played where for Drums in 1958 and the next week, Noel would produce the match programme proving that he had been correct. The younger supporters were in awe of the genial, smiling happy Noel. Manys the time Noel shared his supply of sandwiches with the same hungry younger lads and lassies.
The Supporters' Club nominated Noel as Supporter of the Season a few years back. The reward was a Cup Final VIP trip, richly deserved and thoroughly enjoyed.
Ill health struck about ten years ago but it failed to dampen Noel's enthusiasm for the game and club he loved so passionately. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Noel seldom missed a match. Decked out in red and black from head to toe and always with his customary winning smile. Indeed more fans would greet Noel than some of the players or management.
When Paul McGrath attended an end of season Dinner, we had two living legends in the same room with both receiving equal and merited adulation, Noel and Paul were some combination .
In recent years, Noel was unable to attend matches but his deep interest never wavered .He was an avid reader of the papers and knew the background and potential of every Town player. There were many and varied Longford Town momentos constantly keeping Noel company. The Town squad picture was alongside his bed and beside it an other of his sporting heroes Katy Taylor. Noel liked nothing more than an animated discussion on the games and future prospects of De Town. He'd have approved of the recent exciting signings but would caution against over optimism. Noel 's mind was always razor sharp.
The words of “Dublin in the Rare Auld Times” echoed through the church in Legan at his moving and emotional funeral. De Town had just lost “a rare auld supporter” to the ever increasing Supporters' Club in Heaven.
May he rest in peace.