Tributes paid to ‘role model’ Francie Doone

Francie Doone
Francie Doone

The funeral takes place tomorrow (Wednesday) of Aghalee man Francie Doone who died suddenly during a charity cycle race earlier this week.

Mr Doone (51) is believed to have suffered a heart attack as he took part in a memorial cycle event on Sunday afternoon.

St Joseph’s GAC, Glenavy led tributes to Mr Doone who they described as a ‘role model’ who was ‘always willing to help anyone at anytime’.

His death came just one week after he saw his Glenavy side defeat Dunloy in the Antrim Intermediate Championship football final.

The father of three had been taking part in the Ride On for Raff charity cycle organised in aid of Leukaemia Research. He was with a group from Lissummon Cycling Club when he is believed to have suffered a heart attack as they made their way along the Newry Road near Newtownhamilton. He was given CPR at the scene before being rushed to hospital but he passed away a short time later.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Doone who worked as a plumber. St Joseph’s GAC described their grief at the ‘sudden and untimely death of Francie Doone’.

“A former midfield player, he got involved with the club’s underage teams. At least half of the championship panel had been coached by Francie. He had also coached the ladies team. He was a role model in the club and always kept himself super fit, never drank or smoked and was respected by everyone in the club. Always willing to help anyone at any time.” They expressed their condolences to his wife Geraldine and daughters Briege, Chloe and Erin and his large family circle.

SDLP Cllr Thomas Burns who knew Mr Doone since school said he was a ‘tremendous person’. “Francie had been involved with football since his minor days playing with St James GAA and then senior football with St Joseph’s Glenavy. He has been an absolute pivotal role in the club.”

Mr Burns said Mr Doone’s job as a self employed plumber meant he was very well known throughout the parish from Glenavy to Crumlin.

His funeral is at St Joseph’s Church, Glenavy at 11am tomorrow (Wednesday) before burial at St James Cemetery Aldergrove