THE young people of Celbridge rose to the occasion this week when they celebrated the life of their teeange friend, Abayomi Adefabi.
The friendly and gentle Abbey tragically lost his life at swimming in the Liffey last Wednesday, July 10.
His young friends from many walks of life insisted the semi-finals of the Celbridge Community Summer Cup 2013, went ahead last Saturday. Organiser Ger Dunleavy said it will live long in the memory of the Celbridge community.
Abbey was due to play for ABCDE FC.
“I wanted to postpone it out of respect but Abbey’s friends insisted the game go ahead at Abbey’s club, Ballyoulster and his team beat the much older Dinks Park Rangers 4-2.”
Over five hundred people turned up to support both teams, who displayed incredible strength to get on the pitch on such an emotional occasion. Mark Crickley, the ABCDE FC manager, expressed the sadness but also the great pride they took in playing for Abbey and in seeing the crowd that turned up to show their respect and love for their team-mate. Abbey’s mam, Fatimott Adefabi, was presented with flowers by Issa Budwa, a footballer friend of Abbey’s.
Lee van Haeften, who had coached Abbey, presented Abbey’s father, Adewale Adefabi, with a framed jersey which Abbey’s friends had signed.
Niall Ruddy, team mate and Abbey’s friend, said: “The game meant I could honour Abbey in a way that he would have been proud of. There was 12 of us out on that pitch. We showed great character playing so soon after the trauma. I feel it was tough but necessary as he would have wanted us to play and I feel we did our team mate proud”.
A mental health theme will feature in the final this Saturday week, 27 July. The game kicks off in Ballyoulster United’s groundat 6.30pm.
- Henry Bauress