Football: CRAWLEY TRAGEDY PUTS LEAGUE IN PROPER PLACE.Byline: GARRY DOYLE
TRAGEDY is an overused word in sport - something Shelbourne discovered last week.
For once football ranked a distant second at Tolka Park Páirc Tolca : The death of David Crawley's Tolka Park (Irish: stepson step·son
A spouse's son by a previous union.
a son of one's husband or wife by an earlier relationship
Noun 1. last weekend saw to that.
Unsurprisingly left-back Crawley was absent from Shelbourne's game on Friday - with Tony McCarthy filling the vacancy.
In normal circumstances, McCarthy's return to first team action would be a positive development but he is wise enough to place sport in its proper perspective.
These circumstances weren't normal. They were awful.
"I'd heard about young Lee's death on the news," said McCarthy, "and immediately, I thought, that's devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. .
"I thought of his parents. At that stage I didn't know it was Dave's stepson and when I heard that it was, my heart went out to him.
"It is simply a tragic story - and at times like this football is a hard thing to think about.
"The whole club has been on a low. Take Steve Williams - who travels with David to training every day and is close to him - he's had it hard.
"It's just awful for anyone who was close to Lee.
"I've a little baby and anyone who has kids would know how hard something like that is. It's a tragedy. Sport isn't."
That much is true and comparing an issue as emotive e·mo·tive
1. Of or relating to emotion: the emotive aspect of symbols.
2. Characterized by, expressing, or exciting emotion: as Crawley's with the business of league titles is pointless.
Yet somehow Shels managed to retain their focus and win on Friday against Longford, dedicating their victory afterwards to Crawley.
"I was glad to be playing again," said McCarthy. "When you are out of the side, sitting in the stand, it is difficult.
"I'm 33 now and I'd love to get another league medal.
"But I don't have a lot of time left at this level. It's nice to be involved again but these circumstances are horrible."
They are - but tonight Crawley will be absent again - as Shels travel to Drogheda. The Louth side are fighting to avoid the drop. Shels are battling to stay clear at the top.
It's an important game - and then again it isn't.
SORROW: David Crawley David Crawley (born June 20, 1977) is an Irish football player.
David was born in Dundalk, Co. Louth and is currently enjoying his second spell with hometown club Dundalk FC in the Eircom League having re-joined from Shelbourne F.C. ; STAND-IN: Tony McCarthy