Funeral details for Isaac Gilkinson, a 'wonderful servant' to Mid-Ulster football
Tributes to Isaac Gilkinson, a former Mid-Ulster Football Association chairman who passed away on Tuesday night, have highlighted his dedication and passion for the game over decades of service.
Associated with clubs such as Queen's Park, Lurgan Town and Glenavon, Isaac's greatest contribution came at administrative level by helping countless players and teams pursue a passion for football within the junior and grassroots game.
Funeral arrangements have been confirmed for Friday, October 25 in Lurgan’s Queen Street Methodist Church from 1 o’clock, followed by interment in Lurgan Cemetery.
"He was a wonderful servant, extremely dedicated and someone who put his heart and soul into football," said Alan Willis, a former Mid-Ulster Football Association chairman. "My relationship with Isaac dates back probably more than 30 years and remember going up against him as Queen's Park manager in my playing days with Blacker's Mill.
"Once I retired from playing and had moved on to off-the-field roles with Blacker's Mill I remember Issac was very keen to get me involved with the Mid-Ulster Football League.
"Issac was treasurer then at league level and felt it was important for another generation of administrators to step forward.
"He considered that line of succession vital towards helping protect and shape the future of Mid-Ulster football.
"His encouragement in my early days was certainly welcome but that guidance continued across the years and when I eventually took on the role of Mid-Ulster FA chairman I often would seek out Isaac's advice and opinion on various matters.
"We spent hours and hours in meetings or together at various cup finals or big games and Isaac's commitment was a constant.
"Isaac took great pride in his role as a representative of Mid-Ulster football and felt passionately it was vital to show support to our clubs.
"I add my personal condolences to those from the Mid-Ulster association and league officers and clubs."
The following tribute was posted on the Mid-Ulster Football League website on Wednesday: "It is with the greatest of sadness that we have to report, that, after an accident at his home, our former Chairman and Treasurer, Isaac Gilkinson, has passed away.
"Isaac served for many years at the Irish Football Association, as Chairman of the Mid Ulster FA and Mid Ulster Juvenile League.
"He was associated with Queens Park Swifts FC, Lurgan Town FC and latterly Glenavon FC.
"The Mid Ulster Football League offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to his widow Elsie and to his children and grandchildren at this most tragic of times."
The Mid-Ulster Juvenile League also posted a tribute: "Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our Chairman of the Mid Ulster Juvenile League, Isaac Gilkinson, who died last night.
"He will be sorely missed by all on the Mid Ulster Juvenile Committee."
Funeral details to follow.