Anthony Foley Stops Off At Thomond Park One Last Time
A hearse carrying the body of Anthony Foley stopped briefly outside Thomond Park tonight, as the Munster rugby hero made his final journey home.
The coffin momentarily paused in front of a shrine of jerseys, flowers and scarfs which has been forming outside the famous ground since the news of his tragic passing broke. Fans stood in silence as their captain and head coach said his last goodbye to his adopted home for many years.
A special “FR008” chartered flight arrived in Shannon earlier today carrying the late, number eight, his father and other rugby officials.
Shannon Rugby Club players and officials lined out in club suits as a mark of respect to the man who lifted the AIL five times with the famous Limerick club. The hearse continued to his secondary school, St Munchins college where he lifted the Junior Cup, where students performed a guard of honour for one of their most famous alumni.
Standing outside Thomond Park, Chairman of Shannon Rugby Club, John Leahy, said:
“He was probably one of the most resolute characters ever in our club…we probably didn’t realise it when he was younger. Afterwards, as he grew older, it was obvious he was destined for greatness.”
“His greatness manifested itself when he won five All-Ireland’s with Shannon. We would have won some of them, but not five, not if Anthony Foley hadn’t have been on the team…He was the glue that kept it all together.”
“He was a thinker, a very focused man. He was always at the back of the scrum which would be edging 70 metres forward and his eyes would be darting left and right, and then he’d tap a teammate on the backside when he saw an opportunity for a score and the team would go forth. He was an incredible reader of the game.
“We loved him.”
Twenty members of the club will perform a second guard of honour outside St Flannans Church, Killaloe, for Mr Foley’s funeral mass on Friday (12pm).
“We are bereft, there is no doubt about that, but we want to honour him,” Mr Leahy said.
Former Munster player, and current Shannon RFC President Noel “Buddha” Healy, led the assembled crowd in the club’s anthem “There Is An Isle” as the rugby great made his final journey home.