Striker Derek was top player

Striker Derek was top player

TRIBUTES have been paid last week for former Cherry Orchard FC schoolboy player Derek Matthews, who passed away on March 30 after a sudden illness.

Derek (56), a former striker, scored the winning goal for Black Diamonds in a Leinster Junior Cup final in 1994.

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The late Derek Matthews

Alongside his brother Mark Matthews, the team beat Portmarnock 1-0 in the final of the LJ Cup at Richmond Park.

A statement last Monday by Cherry Orchard FC said: “It was with great sadness that we learned of the recent passing of former Cherry Orchard player Derek Matthews.

“Derek was a fine schoolboys player for the Orchard and he went on to have a very good career in junior football, most notably scoring the winning goal for Black Diamonds in their 1-0 success over Portmarnock FC in the Leinster Junior Cup final at Richmond Park in 1994.

“To Derek’s family, including his brother Mark, the manager of Cherry Orchard’s under 12 Major 1 team, we offer our sincere condolences.”

Top player and man

A number of tributes were posted online by former Cherry Orchard players, praising a “great striker”, and “a top player and man.”

Derek was originally from Ballyfermot and played for Cherry Orchard schoolboys, before moving to the inner city and embarking on a junior football career with Black Diamonds and Dublin Bus.

A funeral mass was held for Derek on April 4, at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Ballyfermot.

He is survived by his mother and father, three sons, a daughter, five brothers, one sister and grandchildren.

One of Derek’s sons, Daniel Matthews, plays for Collinstown FC and is an Irish Junior international centre-midfielder.

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