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Val Forde Cup 2017

The Val Forde Cup was first played for in the late 1960's in memory of the late Val Forde, who lost his life in a swimming tragedy in Emy Lake on August 14th 1964. On that glorious summer evening a number of youth from the area were playing football and swimming at Emy Lake but as he was about to depart for home he was asked to recover a ball, which was blowing away from shore. He did so but got into difficulties and went under and despite desperate efforts he could not be found until the following day. Val, who was almost 19 years of age was an energetic, athletic and sports-mad young man, who had played U21 football for Monaghan in Donegal a week previously. He was also a very generous, helpful and good living person who had a huge circle of friends, all of whom he treated with the highest respect. The whole of North Monaghan and much further afield was devastated at his death not to mention the shock to his family and the sadness and heart-break that followed. In his memory the family presented a Cup to Emyvale GFC to be used to foster GAA among the youth of the parish. His entire family were steeped in the GAA and all members made huge contributions to the Club as players, administrators and supporters. Patsy, Kevin, Gerard, Sean, and Declan all played for the club and assisted in any way they could. Their father, Frank, mother, Mary, and sister Kitty all contributed in the own way to the work of the club and it is fitting that the Forde name lives on in the history of Emyvale GFC.
I say all this because I think it is important that those involved in the club presently and in the future are aware of the history and the events which changed the course of the club history over the years and this time is appropriate as the final of  the Val Forde Cup competition took place on Sunday last, December 3rd in Tully. Four teams of 7yr olds to 10yr olds, male and female, attempted to to win the Cup. The league was run over three Sundays and the four teams played two semi-finals first pf all with the losers playing each other for 3rd and 4th place with the winners going into the final. This ended a draw and extra time was played but it took a point in the last second of extra time to determine a winner. This was a feast of fantastic football. This was passion and energy displayed by every player as if it were an All-Ireland. This was catch and kick and man-for-man marking. This was a massive occasion for these youth and they made the most of it. They entertained and they invested total strength in the effort, cheered on by family members. A huge well done to each and every one of them and to the mentors of each team and to the parents who added their support. A special word for Martin O'Brien and his committee for a job well done and one that will be remembered by the participants for a lifetime. There was another bonus in that Drew Wylie was there to present each of them with a medal and representing the family, Declan Forde presented the cup to joint winning captains - Andrew Stewart and Evan McKenna.