Sunday, December 30, 2007

Phil O'Donnell RIP

Phil O'Donnell, Captain of Motherwell FC, former Celtic player died at the age of 35 last night in the midst of Motherwell's 5-3 defeat of Dundee United. He was well liked in Scottish football - a boy from Bellshill who had a glittering career ahead of him when he broke through into the first team at Fir Park and was transferred to Celtic FC, his boyhood heroes, for a record fee. His career was dogged by injury and he transferred to the Premiership where he had only fitful appearances for Sheffield Wednesday before returning to Motherwell where he endeared himself to the fans.

I am not given to praising footballers in the top flight. Certainly in the Premiership they seem to be a group of obscenely overpaid, near-feral, sexually rapacious drunken boors with a few noble exceptions. Phil O'Donnell was in a very different mould. A family man, with a wife, Eileen, and four children he shunned publicity.

I met him once when I was registrar in a hospice in Glasgow. Phil and Craig Burley came to visit patients before Christmas without any fanfare. They spent the whole afternoon visiting patients who wanted to see them. The older ladies were taken by having the attention of young sportsmen, the old chaps enjoyed talking football (a Glasgow passion) whichever side of the Old Firm divide they came from. Phil spent as long as anyone wanted signing autographs and memorabilia (which were later auctioned to raise funds for the hospice). He was unassuming and modest and had lunch with the hospice staff.

Pray for his family, pray for the repose of the soul of a kind man.

May he rest in peace.

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5 Comments:

OpenID ebomania said...

Well said.

The comments abounding about this young man was that he was admired, respected and universally liked both as a player and as a dedicated family man.

May he rest in peace.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

i will certainly pray for him & his family..may he rest in peace.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Catholic Teuchtar said...

:-( RIP.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Oliver said...

Did he do anything in his life apart from kicking a bloody ball about?

2:28 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Well, yes. as you can see from the post he used his position as a footballer at one of the biggest clubs in the world to raise money for good causes. he could quite easily have done what most footballers do - ie behave badly and amass wealth - he chose to be a good example to the youth of the West of Scotland. I think that is worthy of note.

11:09 AM  

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