Gaelic football club prepares to pay sporting tribute to much-missed player from Leeds

Sen Sweeney.
Sen Sweeney.
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Friends of a much-missed young sportsman will take to the field in Leeds later this month to remember the special part he played in all their lives.

Seán Sweeney was seriously injured in a building site accident in 2011 and, after five years in a rehab clinic in Stocksbridge, Sheffield, died in March 2016 at the age of 26.

Sen's parents John and Marie and sisters Mary-Ellen and Alish with winning captain Patrick Gibbons at last year's memorial match.

Sen's parents John and Marie and sisters Mary-Ellen and Alish with winning captain Patrick Gibbons at last year's memorial match.

He had lived in Leeds since he was a child but was originally from Donegal and never forgot his Irish roots, playing a key role on and off the pitch with the Gaelic football club John F Kennedy's GAA.

Now the Leeds-based club is preparing to celebrate his life and contribution to the local sporting scene with its second annual Seán Sweeney memorial match.

It is being held at Scott Hall Gaelic Football Field on Saturday, May 25, the day after what would have been Seán's 30th birthday.

The match gets under way at 2pm and will be contested between two teams of over-25s and under-25s players past and present from John F Kennedy's.

Steven Doherty, a youth team coach and open age manager at the club, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "Seán was the life and soul of the club and a bit of a character to say the least.

"He was an all-round top lad and was always up for the craic.

"He played an important part in the development of our club and the least we can do is keep him in mind with events like this.

"Last year's match was very emotional and I'm sure this one will be as well, but we also want it to be a celebration of his life."

Seán, a former pupil at Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, was living in Cross Gates at the time of his accident.

His parents, John and Marie, attended last year's memorial match and will be on the touchline once again for this month's game.

The fixture will be followed in the evening by a presentation event at Leeds Irish Centre.