In recent hours news emerged that Tyrone’s injury legend Damien Casey tragically died at the age of 29 while on vacation in Spain.
It is understood that Mr Casey was in Spain for a wedding where he was to be a groom.
He died after an accident in the swimming pool.
Mr Casey is widely regarded as Tyrone’s greatest bowler and has left behind a legacy that will be hard to match.
A native of Dungannon, he played for the Ioghan Rudh club in 2012 and first line-out for Tyrone Seniors.
The full-forward started his county first game that season and surprisingly he started every game for Tyrone since then – a total of 100 outs. In that context, Galway Hurling’s long-serving midfielder David Burke (32) will become his county’s record attendance maker with 63 outings when he plays against Cork later today.
Incredibly, Damien Casey scored in every single game in 100 appearances.
Last month, Tyrone defeated Roscommon by five points in the final of the Nicky Rackard Cup. That day Mr. Casey scored 14 runs from the team’s total of 1-21.
He scored an impressive 1–12 in the semi-finals, which also earned him 400 championship points.
Overall the sharp-shooter scored 39 goals and 908 points for Tyrone in league and championship action – or 1,025 points – during his decade of service.
Mr Casey’s record has made him one of the nation’s deadliest forwards in recent years and his stats rival those of senior championship greats including Patrick Horgan of Cork, the record scorer at senior level.
In fact Horgan’s average per game is around 8.4, while Damien Casey’s was 10.01 as of his last outing.
in an interview with Belfast Telegraph Last month, Mr. Casey humbly talked about being his county’s record scorer.
“I guess I wouldn’t have thought much about it,” he said.
“I’ve been quite lucky in a sense. I’ve dealt with a few injuries with the help of pain relievers and injections and stuff.
“But I’ve been relatively lucky over the last 10 years where I’ve been relatively injury-free. And I’ve been free for about eight of those 10 years, so that number has gotten pretty good as well.”
He continued: “Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great record. But will I halve it to win here over the weekend? Of course you will.”
“Obviously being in the freebies, I expect the scoring percentage to go up. If they weren’t, I would be disappointed in myself in the sense that you need to eliminate them.
“I will judge myself on the score of the game and my overall participation. With freebies, they’re not really a given, but I expect they’ll take over. ,
Damien Casey has represented Ireland several times in dazzling international matches against Scotland and is a two-time GAA/GPA Champion 15 award winner.
He won two Tyrone club championships with Dungannon. He led his county to victories in the Nicky Rackard Cup on three occasions, and also won the Laurie Meagher Cup and Division 3A and 3B National Hurling Leagues.
The news of his death has shocked the GAA community.
Confirming his tragic death in a statement, Tyrone GAA said: “Heartbreak and grief can come in many forms, but are especially brutal when there is the sudden death of a young, talented, outgoing and prominent person in life. She goes.
“Accordingly, Gaelic Tyrone is utterly shaken by the news of Damien Casey’s tragic death, a supreme obstacle right now at the peak of his powers.”