Noel was, is and always will be a key part of Belvedere Football Club. Like Belvo he was born and raised in the North Inner City and like Belvo he grew to be a key part of the wider football community.
Noel’s wholehearted commitment and belief in good football and good coaching underpins the whole philosophy and approach of our club and his influence in this regard was immense.
The massive contribution Noel made over the years in coaching, managing and running teams and participating in our coaching camps and seminars in Mosney, Gormanston, Cavan and Monaghan has in no small way imprinted itself into the very essence, into the heart and soul, of what Belvo is.
As a coach, Noel’s immense knowledge and expertise in footballing matters were second only to his creativity, his sense of fun and the sheer enjoyment he managed to produce out of training and coaching sessions.
When Noel moved on to be involved with Liam Tuohy and Brian Kerr at the F.A.I., we in Belvo were sad to lose him but we knew he would make a huge contribution on the wider stage of international football.
However, when he and Brian resigned, demonstrating their commitment to principle and true football values over the way Liam Tuohy was treated, we were not surprised. Later too, we were all immensely proud when Noel became Brian’s assistant in charge of the senior football team and continued his contribution to coaching at the highest level.
As a manager too he was a master of the things that matter. Every player who played for Noel became a better player and far more importantly, a better person. For as everybody who knew Noel is fully aware, he was a thoughtful, caring and decent man who was able to give so much to so many in a modest and natural way that singled him out as someone really special. He was a true friend to so many.
Noel was equally special as a friend, whose drum playing, guitar expertise, singing ability, wit and great sense of humour made him such a wonderful, funny and entertaining person to be with. Belvo venues over the years, whether it be Molloy’s or Mosney and especially the memorable New Year parties in Noel’s family house in North Great Charles Street, all bore witness to his talents.
All of us in Belvo mourn for Noel but are grateful for the privilege of having him in our club and our lives for so long. We know he would want us to celebrate his life with a laugh and a song and to remember him in the best way possible by trying to run our football teams according to the principles and values he believed in and practiced....... And this Noel we will try to do!
Finally, on behalf of all at Belvedere Football Club: past and present committee members, managers, coaches, players, parents and supporters, I want to offer our condolences to Rose his partner, to Shay and Kieran, Monica and Deirdre and I want to thank them for their kindness, dignity and strength over the last hard days and their generosity of heart in allowing us to share Noel’s final hours with them.
Fergus McCabe Chairman
27th September 2008