I was shocked and saddened to hear the news this week of the cancer diagnosis of Cargin stalwart, Kevin Doyle.
Last week he underwent his first radiotherapy treatment. From Monday to Friday, he will travel to the City Hospital’s Cancer Centre every day for the next nine weeks.
His doctors are confident that it will kill the remaining clutch of cancerous cells that have slowly spread since he was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019.
It is, they believe, still well contained and very treatable.
I first came across Kevin Doyle during my time as manager of All Saints U12 football team. The fiery half forward lining out for Erin’s Own had a running battle with my nephew Byron Clarke. I don’t remember who won the game but it was obvious even then that the Toome side had a precarious talent developing within their ranks.
It wouldn’t be the last time our paths would cross and over the preceding years I was to witness the talents of Kevin Doyle many times. After a less than spectacular management career I was to take an interest in photography and journalism which allowed me to follow my great love for Gaelic games.
While I was shooting frames from the end-lines of clubs and counties all over Ireland Kevin Doyle’s career as a player was earning him rave notices. He made his senior debut for the Toome men as a 15 year old and his debut marked the beginning of a career that would see him involved as a player or member of the management team in 17 county finals.
An excellent footballer with a fiery temperament that would sometimes see him in trouble with referees, Kevin Doyle never gave anything less than 100% for club and county and that commitment has continued as part of the present Erin’s Own management setup alongside Damian Cassidy and Ronan Devlin.
This very successful management team have led Cargin to three senior championships on the trot and have been re-installed for the coming season with the possibility of a first four in a row very much a possibility in 2021.
That fighting spirit and will to win has played a major part in the successful career of this very likeable individual who has always greeted me with a smile on my numerous visits to Toome and I believe and pray that this fighting spirit will see him overcome his latest challenge in life.