Men’s Hockey: Death of Marius Gallagher a sad loss for hockey

Former umpire went on to serve the sport with distinction in an administrative capacity

Marius Gallagher: served as president of the Leinster Branch from 1990 to 1992 and then president of the Irish Hockey Union from 1995 to 1997.

Marius Gallagher: served as president of the Leinster Branch from 1990 to 1992 and then president of the Irish Hockey Union from 1995 to 1997.

 

Umpire Marius Gallagher had been involved in hockey from as far back as the 1970s until his peaceful death in Blackrock Clinic earlier this week.

As recently as November 13th, despite being clearly unwell, he went to a lunch in Dun Laoghaire attended by past international players.

Marius was an umpire who came from an era where he could flash the cards – which he frequently did – and then go into the clubhouse for a drink with the players. He was seen as the friendly curmudgeon, who held a grudging respect for characters who he regularly had to sin bin.

It was those players – very often the best of their era – with whom he would be seen in friendly conversation after the match. Take a bow former internationals Mark ‘Flecky’ Cullen and Dave O’Driscoll.

A former manager of the Bank of Ireland branch at the back gate of UCD, Marius was also a very close friend of former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and the two regularly met.

Marius went to Aberdeen for Ferguson’s 40th and he would travel to Old Trafford more than 10 times a season where he was a season ticket-holder. He also brought Ferguson over to Dublin to speak at Milltown Golf Club where he was a member.

Marius served as president of the Leinster Umpires Association from 1974 to 1975 and then again from 1986 to 1987 and he also served as president of the Leinster Branch from 1990 to 1992 and then president of the Irish Hockey Union from 1995 to 1997. He gained his FIH (international) umpire status in a tournament in Hong Kong.

It won’t just be a personality in the game that will be missed by many in the sport but his years of service to hockey both on and off the pitch.

EY Hockey League – UCD v Monkstown, Belfield 1.00pm; Corinthians v Pembroke, Whitechurch 2.30pm; Banbridge v Annadale, Havelock Park, 2.45; Three Rock Rovers v YMCA, Grange Road 3.00pm; Glenanne v Lisnagarvey, St Andrews School, 4.30pm

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