Northern Ireland

Newry road crash victim was a former footballer remembered as a ‘club legend’

The pedestrian was named locally as Gary McLoughlin

Gary McLoughlin
The pedestrian who died has been named locally as Gary McLoughlin

A pedestrian who died after being struck by a car in Newry was a footballer, who has been described by his former club as a “legend”.

Football clubs across the north have paid tribute to Gary McLoughlin, known as ‘Cookie’, who was named locally as the man who died following the collision on Saturday.

Several football clubs, including Linfield, Dungannon and Ashgrove Rovers FC, have posted tributes to Mr McLoughlin, who was aged in his forties.

He was hit by a car on the Forkhill Road on Saturday night at around 10.40pm.

Police said he was taken to hospital following the collision, but died from his injuries a short time later.

Newry-based club Ashgrove Rovers FC said it was “devastated to hear about the passing of former player Gary ‘Cookie’ McLoughlin”.

“Cookie was with us for six seasons over two spells and helped the club win its first trophy with him opening the scoring in the cup final,” the club said.

“He definitely will go down as a club legend as you always knew when he was around you were guaranteed a laugh and good time.

“We would like to pass on our condolences to his entire family circle at this heart-breaking time. RIP Cookie.”

As a club we are devastated to hear about the passing of former player Gary ‘Cookie’ McLoughlin. Cookie was with us for...

Posted by Ashgrove Rovers FC on Sunday 24 March 2024

Dungannon Swifts FC said Mr McLoughlin had been part of their youth coaching team last season.

“As a club we would like to pass on our condolences to the McLoughlin family after the sudden passing of Gary,” it said in a post on Facebook.

“Gary helped out with our U16 team last season and everyone at the club would like to offer their prayers and support at this time to the wider family circle.”

Linfield Football Club also said it was “saddened” by the death of Mr McLoughlin, who is the “father of Linfield U18s player and scholarship student Matty McLoughlin”.

“We pass our sincere condolences to Matty and his family at this very sad time,” the club said.

Other tributes posted online have remembered him as a “brilliant fella and teammate” as well as a “lovely lad...who lived for his son”.