Talent of young Limerick soccer star Wassiou Ayawe Moran, who died in jet ski incident, remembered at funeral

Passionate Limerick FC player (19) died in Killaloe, Co Clare, tragedy on Wednesday

A “true hero on the field”, teenage Limerick FC soccer player Wassiou Ayawe Moran, who died last week in a jet ski incident, was remembered today at his funeral mass as “the most gifted soccer player ever seen” on Shannonside.

Wassiou (19) from Grattan Court, Old Clare Street, Limerick, died at the scene at the lakeside village of Killaloe, Co Clare, last Wednesday evening. Investigations are continuing into the circumstances that led up the tragedy.

A recording of Stay With Me (Everybody’s Free), sung by London rapper Ironik, was played at the start of the Mass held at St Mary’s Church, Limerick city.

The rapper’s lyrics painted a poignant reminder of Mr Wassiou Moran’s family’s loss: “Stay with me, don’t fall asleep too soon, the angel’s can wait, for a moment”.


A poem entitled Wassiou Awaye Forever 19, was read out by a family friend who recounted how Wassiou’s “infectious laughter and smile, would light up any room” and, “who right from your early start, had gifted feet and was potential soccer star”.

The friend said Wassiou’s family and friends would never forget his “chocolate brown eyes” but would “think of our memories, and the beautiful you, Gucci clobber and Nike running shoes”.

Fr Richie Davern, parish priest of St Mary’s, told mourners no one was feeling Wassiou’s loss more deeply than “his mum Tracey, and no mother should have to live this day, no mother should have to see their child go before them”.

A number of symbols representing all that was important in Wassiou’s life were presented at the altar by his sisters Abbie, Ariana, Tiana and Aaieshah, including a soccer ball, a fruit drink, a mobile phone, and cigarette papers.

“Tiernan O’Neill, the principal of Moyross national school, told us that Wassiou was to soccer what Munster’s Keith Earls is to rugby - such was the talent and gift Wassiou had for that sport,” said Fr Davern.

“From a very young age Wassiou had a passion for sport, particularly soccer. He played for several teams, but no more was he prouder than when he was selected to play for Limerick FC, he had a passion for soccer and his commitment for this passion was unparalleled.

“He never gave up on achieving his goals, and, his teachers and coaches have described him as the most gifted soccer player they had ever seen.”

“As a team member he led by example, and his sportsmanship and dedication earned him the respect of his peers, elders and opposition alike. His work ethic was unmatched, and his commitment to the sport was infectious and inspired others around him to push themselves even harder - he was a true leader on the field.”

Fr Davern, speaking on behalf of Tracey Moran, thanked “the emergency services who attended the scene” of last Wednesday’s fatal jet ski incident and “all our family and friends and neighbours who have rallied around us”.

“Wassiou was a gifted young man whose life came to an end too soon. He is remembered not only for his sporting abilities, but also for his unwavering spirit and determination. He showed great compassion and kindness to all of his brothers and sisters, and they will all truly miss him,” he continued.

“His tragic and untimely death has left a void that will never be filled but his legacy will remain. His indomitable spirit and commitment to excellence will always be an inspiration to young soccer players who follow in his footsteps.”

Fr Davern said a phone call received by Wassiou’s mother following last Wednesday’s tragedy was “the devastating news that every parent dreads - they know that their young children full of fun and life are at risk in this world, but they live in the hope that that phone call will never come”.

Some mourners wore white t-shirts emblazoned with a photograph of the soccer player, and were driven in three white stretch Chrysler, Rolls Royce and Lamborghini vehicles, which also bore Wassiou’s image, following a horse-drawn carriage carrying the deceased’s remains in a gold casket.

One of 10 siblings, Wassiou Ayawe Moran was laid to rest in Mount St Lawrence (Extension) Cemetery.