While I was in hospital recently, it was with great regret that I learned of the passing of a great friend and playing colleague, Michael ‘Mickey’ Carroll.
Myself and Mickey both played on the very first Greenfield team founded by his brother Brian in 1967. Indeed, in one game, all five Carroll brothers lined out: Brian, Paddy, Mickey, Aidan and the late Gerard.
In 1969, Mickey was instrumental in helping Greenfield to their first trophy win, the Dundalk and District League Second Division. His equalising goal in the dying minutes of a game with the Rugby Club proved vital as the title was won by a single point from Dee United.
He also helped the club to an historic three divisional titles in a row between 1972 and 1974, a feat that has never been equalled.
Mickey was a midfield dynamo, possessing both great stamina and skill. Like many other local footballers, he was capable of going on and playing at a much higher level but it was his enjoyment of the game that mattered more to Mickey.
It was a pleasure to be in his company, be it sitting on the back of the seats at the Square or playing rings or darts in Kays on Crowe Street. We went to dances in the Adelphi and the Fairways, accompanied by the late Majella McCrave. He was very witty but never hurt anybody by his quick turn of phrase.
I recall when he worked in the ESB and then applied himself to the building trade for many years. Mickey was able to turn his hand to any type of work with great success. Perhaps the calibre of the man is best summed up by his heroic act in saving a person from drowning in the quay some years back, receiving due recognition just some months before his passing, from the state.
It just does not seem right when you pass Murphy’s Pub beside the Green Church and Mickey is not there having a smoke and ready to have a chat. I would have been proud to be part of the Greenfield guard of honour which he richly deserved.
To Joan and May, his sisters, Brian, Paddy and Aidan his brothers, I send them my deepest condolences. May he rest in peace.