London GAA is in shock after a young player, Cathal Forde, died while training with Kilburn Gaels last night. Forde, 28, from Gort in County Galway collapsed at the end of a hurling session in Highgate. The player was rushed by ambulance to Whittington Hospital in Archway where he was pronounced dead.
The player’s family arrived in London this morning.
His brother Niall played was training with Cathal when he collapsed during the warm-down of last night’s session.
“There was no indication that anything was wrong until he collapsed,” said Niall. “He wasn’t in any distress during the session. The first sign something was wrong was when he was on the ground. It was his heart.”
He added: “My mother and father are in shock.”
Speaking about his relationship with his brother Niall said: “He was quiet, always in good form. He got on well with everyone. He loved the hurling. His girlfriend’s name was Sheila. He was settled here, but I reckon his plans were to go back to Ireland in the next couple of years.
“Cathal was the corner back on the Kilburn team in 2010. We played together on the Gort team and both won a senior championship in London [in 2010]. He was a good corner back, you know, the type of player that would never let you down.”
Cathal Forde had been living in the capital for two-and-a-half years and worked as a site engineer.
He is a former student of Edinburgh Napier University and GMIT in county Galway.
Galway county-man Ambrose Gordon said: “Cathal had a quiet temperament. He was a gentleman. When I met him last week we were having the banter about club hurling back in Galway. He’s from Gort and I’m from Killimor, two rival parishes. He was always in good form and loved his hurling. There wasn’t a pick on him.”
This afternoon, Cathal’s club Kilburn Gaels released a statement:
It is with great regret that we announce the untimely passing of Cathal Forde who died last night (April 10) at the age of 28. Cathal was corner-back on the Kilburn Gaels team that won the club’s first county title in 2010 and was very popular and well liked with everyone in the club. A native of Gort in County Galway, he has been a regular fixture in the senior side since he came to London with his brother Niall. He is a former student of GMIT and was working as a site engineer here in London. Everyone at the club is deeply saddened and shocked by what has happened and our thoughts at this time are with his girlfriend Sheila and the Forde family.
Cathal Forde will repose in Ryan’s Funeral Home, 49 Oldfield Lane South, UB6 9LB, from 4-6pm on Friday April 13, then taken to St Agnes Church, Cricklewood Lane, NW2 IHR, for 7pm Mass. His body will return to Ireland on Saturday for burial in Gort, Co Galway on Sunday.