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‘A gentleman and sporting icon’: Tributes as football legend Jimmy Davis laid to rest

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‘Jimmy was synonymous with football in the Newry area and a stalwart of the league for over 50 years’

Soccer stalwart Jimmy Davis, who was “synonymous” with football in the Newry area, has been laid to rest today (Thursday) following a service in his home city.

Jimmy, who died on Monday (October 31) at the age of 92, was the beloved husband of the late Grace and a hugely respected figure, not just in Newry but in the world of local football.

The funeral took place this afternoon in St Mary’s Parish Church, Newry, with the service conducted by the Rev Scott McDonald.

The hymns ‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling‘ and ‘Abide with Me‘ were sung during the service.

After the service, Jimmy was interred in the Presbyterian Cemetery on the Armagh Road in Newry.

One organisation to pay tribute to Jimmy was the Irish Football Association (IFA) – a testament to just how well he was thought of in sporting circles.

In a post on their website, they said: “It is with great sadness that the Association has learnt of the sad passing of Jimmy Davis, the Secretary of the Carnbane Football League.

“Jimmy was synonymous with football in the Newry area, and a stalwart of the league for over 50 years.

“He was an active secretary promoting the game at all levels, and especially an enthusiastic advocate of football amongst young people in the wider Newry region.”

They added: “The organisation sends its condolences to Jimmy’s family circle and to the football community in Newry for which he worked tirelessly.”

Windmill Stars FC, also from Newry, paid tribute too on their Facebook page, saying it was “a sad day for Newry sport”.

They added: “Windmill Stars FC would like to offer their condolences to the Davis family and to all those associated with Carnbane League.

“Jimmy was a gentleman and a sporting icon of Newry. Throughout the years, Jimmy has been a great help to our club and we appreciate all he did for us.

“No matter when you phoned or called, it was always ‘come in son’ or ‘I’ll sort that son’.

“All he wanted was the Carnbane League to be a success and it is still going today because of his tireless work and dedication to it. He’ll always be remembered when it comes to football in this town.”

Tributes were also paid by the Carnbane League, of which Jimmy was secretary.

In a post on their website, they said: “We all extend our deepest sympathy first and foremost to Jimmy’s family.”

And the Carnbane League had also asked that all clubs be represented at his funeral “as an acknowledgement of all that he has done for the local football community in the past 54-years”.

Saturday’s fixtures will go ahead as scheduled.

“We all know that Jimmy would not have wanted it any other way,” the league tribute added. “We would ask all clubs to have a minute’s silence before their game to honour Jimmy.”

Jimmy Davis – who had previously been bestowed with the British Empire Medal – is survived by his children, Maud, Andrew, Elizabeth, Sylvia and Mark.

He is lovingly remembered by his sorrowing daughters, sons, sons-in-law Michael, Steve and Johnny, daughters-in-law Valerie and Amy, grandchildren, brother Albert and entire family circle.