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Tragic GAA star had become a father for the third time; Benny, 38, suffers roadside heart attack hours after match win be.


A GAA star who suffered a fatal heart attack on the side of the road had recently become a father for the third time.

Former Louth defender Brendan "Benny" Reilly, 38 was on his way home from a game after helping his club to a stunning victory when he took ill.

Tragically it is understood he and wife Lisa were due to have their baby son Harry, who was born in July, christened today.

A source said Benny was driving from the game in Ardee, Co Louth, on Saturday when he felt unwell, pulled over and called an ambulance.

But he passed away before arriving at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Shock reverberated throughout the Louth GAA community as friends of the popular player woke to the sad news yesterday morning.

Benny had lined out with the Louth senior team and was still a top player with the Naomh Mairtin club from Monasterboice just outside Drogheda. A statement on the club's Facebook page told how it is "reeling from the tragic and devastating news of the sudden and unexpected passing of our defensive colossus".

It read: "Our club, community & Benny's team-mates extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathies to his gorgeous family, wife Lisa and children Saoirse, Amy and Harry as well as Benny's extended family, friends and colleagues."

It described Benny as "more than a footballer and his cheeky smile, dry wit, lust for life were equally infectious to all that had the pleasure of being in his company".

The statement added: "It is no coincidence that his qualities and knowledge have resulted in these young players developing the commitment, drive and determination we all remember so fondly of our dear friend. Benny recently commented 'extract the best out of yourself and make something special happen', well Benny, we will forever remember how you most certainly lived that statement and your young charges on our U13/14s are doing so also. Ar Dheis De go raibh a Anam."

Former Louth star Darren Clarke, tweeted: "We hugged after our match tonight. Can't understand life. A friend, teammate, warrior, a gent.

"Thoughts with family & @naomhmairtin #RIPBenny." All of Louth's clubs took to social media to offer their condolences and last night's Louth MFC semi-final meeting between Naomh Mairtin and Geraldines was postponed.

Hailing from a football-mad family, his late father Eugene was a founding member of John Brendan & Lisa post about baby Mitchels club. Benny played all his underage football with the club and won a junior league and championship double with his brothers Shane, Alan and Barry in 1998.

In 2008 he moved to Naomh Mairtin where he continued to display his talents at senior level.

On Saturday, the former Wee County defender had lined out at centre half back as his club recorded a 5-9 to 1-10 win over St Mary's in the Cardinal O'Donnell Cup semi-final.

Benny was central to his club's impressive 2017 Louth senior championship drive and played a leading role in their recent quarter-final replay victory over the Dreadnots in Drogheda.

The Mairtins are due to face Dundalk Gaels on Saturday for a place in the final.

Taking to social media in one of his last posts on Facebook, doting dad Brendan posted a photo of their new arrival. He said: "Baby Harry Reilly joined our wee family on Monday. We are all over the moon Mammy and baby are both doing great."


SO CLOSE Brendan & Lisa and, left, post about baby

sudden death Brendan Reilly died on Saturday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2017
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