Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone footballer killed in accident remembered as 'simply a great lad, both on and off the field'

Talented GAA footballer Joshua Griggs who died in an accident on Tuesday. Picture: Brackaville Owen Roes GFC
Marie Louise McConville

A TALENTED Co Tyrone GAA player who died in an accident involving a lorry has been remembered as "simply a great lad, both on and off the field".

Joshua Griggs, who was 19 and from Newmills, died following the accident on Tuesday afternoon.

It was reported the teenager was cleaning gutters at Foxleigh Fields housing estate in Banbridge, Co Down, when a lorry reversed into scaffolding, causing him to fall.

The up-and-coming footballer, who was a former pupil at Cookstown High School, was a member of Brackaville Owen Roes GFC.

He was recently named the club’s 2020 Reserve player of the year.

The club last night opened a book of condolences at the clubrooms for anyone wanting to give some "words of comfort" to his family.

Ulster Unionist councillor Robert Colvin said the whole community was "devastated" by the loss.

"We have all lost a son," he said. "When I first heard it, I didn't want to believe it. The family are so well loved and very highly regarded."

The Mid Ulster councillor said the Griggs family had been left "shaken and shocked" adding Joshua was working to "help pay for university".

"He wanted to continue a career in sport and coaching. He had the aptitude and ability and that was recognised by the club.

"He was a lovely fella and everybody who knew him was fond of him...We all feel as if we have lost a son ourselves."

Brackaville Owen Roes last night paid tribute on Facebook describing their young player as "simply just a great lad, both on and off the field".

"He will be remembered as a courteous and appreciative young man, grateful of life and the opportunities given to him.

"He excelled at youth level, in the Tyrone GAA Academy and last year was a standout performer in the Senior Championship, after late call up as starter.

"Only a few weeks ago, Josh was awarded our 2020 Reserve Player of the Year and looked forward to this season and seasons ahead. No-one could wipe his infectious smile from his face that day.

"As a coach and mentor to our U15 team, Josh was a prime example of what any young player should aspire to be... we could not have been any prouder of him."

Also posting on Facebook, Tyrone Somme Memorial Association wrote that it was with "great sorrow" they learned of the death "of our friend Andy Griggs' son Josh in an accident".

"Andy was a good friend to the TSMA and we will never forget his help and kindness to all our members who attended the Somme in 2016", they said.

"The devastating loss of a child is unbearable to comprehend and thoughts and prayers are with the Griggs family at this awful time."

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