DONEGAL SOCCER

Shock in Donegal sporting circles with sudden death of former Harps player Noel Melvin

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Shock in Donegal sporting circles with sudden death of former Harps player Noel Melvin

Noel Melvin

Tributes are being paid to the late Noel Melvin, the former Finn Harps, Dundalk, and Monaghan United player who has died, aged just 48.

The Mayo native was a very popular player in the League of Ireland and his sad passing has evoked a sense of great shock and also loss.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player Noel Melvin at such a young age,” Finn Harps said in a statement.

“Noel was a member of the team that got Harps back to the Premier Division in 1996 after a long period in the first division and is fondly remembered at Finn Park. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

Melvin made 48 appearances for Finn Harps, scoring four goals.

In 1992, he joined Division One Monaghan United from Donegal Town. He scored in both legs of the promotion/relegation play-offs against Waterford as the Gortakeegan side got promoted to the Premier Division.

After three seasons with Monaghan, he joined Finn Harps.

A change of job-location paved the way for his move to Dundalk.

Melvin, who could play either in defence or midfield, played 99 times for Dundalk and scored seven goals.

In 1999/2000 he was the Dundalk player of the year.

In total, he made 219 League game appearances across 11 seasons with Monaghan, Harps and Dundalk.

In Mayo, he was widely regarded as one of the best players from the county. He was the first recipient of the Mayo Football League's Young Footballer of the Year Award in 1989 after starring in the county's run to the final of the FAI Youths Inter-League Cup.

Ballina Town FC described him as one of the club's greatest ever players, with a message on its facebook page stating: "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time," the club stated on its Facebook page.”

He was Learning and Development Manager at Ulster Bank.

More recently he was known for his involvement in athletics, and ran with the Monaghan Joggernutts.

The club posted a message on its facebook page expressing sympathy to his family and noting that he’d been training for the Dublin Marathon and “had his homework almost done.”

He is survived by his wife Cathy, and children Marc and Sophie, to whom sincere sympathy is extended.