OBITUARY: Newbridge's Phil Wolfe was a proud family man with a distinguished army career and a passion for soccer

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OBITUARY: Newbridge's Phil Wolfe was a proud family man with a distinguished army career and a passion for soccer

Phil and Nuala Wolfe

“Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a man like Phil Wolfe.”

Those were the words of his son Philly, who tried to sum up his dad and the immeasurable impact he had on his family and friends.

“Our lives changed forever on the 31 of May when Phil fell ill. For the following eight days our family went from hoping he would recover to having to say goodbye, but as he lay in the bed during them eights days we never gave up hope that he would flash us that smile we loved so much, but it never came,” he said.

“While he was sick, after he passed and since his burial, we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our family friends, neighbours and the various groups that Phil had worked with throughout his years.

“To see the many hundreds of people both at the house and church really struck home how Phil had touched the lives of so many many people.”

A large number of members of the Defence Forces including personnel from 1 Armoured Cavalry Squadron, members of the Republic of Ireland supporters club, and Moorefield GAA club all turned out to pay their respects at his funeral on June 12 at St Conleth's Parish Church in Newbridge.

Phil will also be hugely missed by his loving wife Nuala, daughters Natalie and Charlotte, and six grandchildren. Originally from Pairc Mhuire, Nuala grew up not far from Phil in Piercetown. They knew each other from a young age and were together for 57 years — married for 47.

Phil joined the army in 1971 and retired as a Sergeant in 1992 after 21 years service. As part of the Cavalry Corps, he was based at Plunkett Barracks at the Curragh, and served twice overseas in the Lebanon in 1979 and 1986.

Sport played a huge part in his life.

He played soccer with Newbridge Rangers (now known as Newbridge Hotspurs) and went on to manage a number of teams.

In the aftermath of his death, Hotspurs paid tribute to Phil on their Facebook page saying; “Everyone at the club was saddened to hear of the passing of former player, manager and life long club supporter Phil Wolfe. He will always be part of our clubs history and we would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Nuala and all his family and friends. RIP”

Community games also came calling and he managed the U/12 soccer teams for thirty years with hundreds of players passing under his guidance.

One of the founding members of the Republic of Ireland Supporters Club, he was an integral part of the club and later became their president.

“Soccer was a huge passion of his. He was always going to away Ireland matches and home games. He loved it,” said Philly.

“He was also an avid Moorefield supporter and a proud Kildare fan.”

Following his passing, Moorefield GAA said he was a lifelong member and supporter who travelled the length and breadth of the county to support Moorefield. It said he will be remembered fondly in Moorefield GAA.

Phil had many interests. Both he and Nuala loved to go on holidays and weekends away to Wexford.

“He was full of life and he always saw the good in everyone,” said his son.

Phil also volunteered to help out behind the scenes at the Newbridge Day Care Centre with Meals on Wheels and SVDP. The Wolfe family had another recent tragic loss when Phil's sister, Angela Cahill passed away thirteen days after her bother's death.

They were the only two siblings in their family.

— Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h'anam