DERRY GAA has been left reeling after a well-known footballer and father-of-two was found dead.
Gary McGee died suddenly at a house in Bridgehouse Court, Ballykelly.
The cause of death has yet to be established, the Irish News reports today.
The 32-year-old goalkeeper with Foreglen GAA club played a leading role with the O’Brien’s GAC in the club’s Derry Intermediate Championship campaign this summer.
Dungiven Sinn Féin councillor Tony McCaul, a committee member with O’Briens, told the newspaper that everyone in the Derry GAA family is stunned by news of Mr McGee’s death.
“I have known Gary for years. He is a good, sound fellow and everyone liked him,” he said.
“He had a heart of gold and we’re struggling to understand how he could have died.
“It’s hard to accept that someone who was out playing football with the club just days and weeks ago could have died so suddenly and unexpectedly.”
Mr McGee had been planning his wedding with his long-term partner Alana Doherty.
In a post on Facebook she described her sorrow.
“Words can’t describe how much I love you and how much my heart is breaking. You are my only love always and forever,” she wrote.
Ms Doherty recently took part in an online competition for a free wedding reception run by a Derry hotel.
The couple had hoped to obtain enough votes to reach the grand final of the contest at the Waterfoot Hotel on September 12.
Among clubs to express their sympathies were St Aiden’s GAC in Magilligan and Ballerin.
Although he was from Ballkelly, Mr McGee played all his club football with the O’Brien’s GAC in Foreglen, near Dungiven, because of family links.
A spokesman for the Foreglen club said: “Yesterday we received devastating news that our goalkeeper, Gary McGee, had passed away.
“Our sympathies go out to Gary’s fiancée, Alana, his girls, the entire family circle.
“Gary has been playing for [the club] since under-12 and he will be sadly missed from O’Brien’s Foreglen and the GAA.
“We are all in total shock and heartbroken.”Tags: