Tullylish proud of John’s recall to squad

TULLYLISH GAC is proud to be represented on this year’s Down Championship squad by heartbroken widower John McAreavey.

The club’s press officer Anne Murphy paid tribute to the 30-year-old, saying he is sure to make his local teammates and supporters proud.

John, who put on a remarkable display of skill when he scored 1-12 against Newry Mitchels last month, has been recalled to the county squad, of which he has been a member since 2008. The Tullylish captain, whose wife Michaela was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius in January this year, has been making an impression on the pitch in recent times.

Down team spokesman Paul Rooney said he has been struck by John’s performances.

“I think he is enjoying his football and I’m sure it helps to take his mind off everything that happened,” he said. “He has been playing some unreal football of late.”

Anne Murphy, who is also a close friend of the McAreaveys and attended the wedding in December last year, expressed her pride in John.

“It’s an added interest when you’re travelling all over the country to watch Down playing,” said Anne. “It’s great to have a local player involved with the team and we’re all very proud of John. We just hope he will get the full season out of it.

“It doesn’t detract from anything that has happened but it is a great thing to have, to be so involved in the sport at such a high level. I’m sure he is very grateful that he has reached that level and that he has that opportunity in football.

“John’s whole life was very much rooted in football and so was Michaela’s and I’m sure it is of some comfort to him to be carrying on the success he has already achieved. It requires a lot of dedication, time and commitment and we are certainly proud that Tullylish is being represented.”

Meanwhile authorities in Mauritius said the trial of the three men accused in connection with Michaela’s murder could begin as early as September or October this year.