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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 2 December 2020

'One of the hardest days of my life': Shay Given bids farewell to Donegal coach Pat Shovelin

The former Donegal GAA goalkeeping coach was laid to rest on Tuesday.

Updated at 21.30

SHAY GIVEN PAID a heartfelt tribute to Donegal GAA goalkeeping coach Pat Shovelin whose funeral took place in St Columba’s Church, Doneyloop this morning.

The father of two died aged 41 last Saturday from aggressive form of liver cancer, and he was laid to rest today following a guard of honour by Donegal players.

Shovelin was a member of Jim McGuinness’s All-Ireland winning backroom team in 2012, while he worked as a records manager at Letterkenny University Hospital.

His coffin was draped in the county’s colours and the Sam Maguire was also present at the mass.

Given honoured his “best friend” with an emotional Instagram post, describing the day as one of the hardest of his life.

He wrote: “Today was up there with one of the hardest of my life. Pat Shovelin. Only 41. A true gentleman. A best friend. A loving husband. A proud father to his two boys, Ethan (5) and Tom (1). A fellow Donegal man and a fellow goalkeeper,.

“I never expected to have to carry you in a coffin, carry you out of the pub yes, but this, no. Our hearts are broken. Whole county in mourning.

“We will all be strong for you Pat, the happiest man who I ever met, you would want us to be strong for you, and we will. God Rest you. Love you Pat.”

Despite his illness, Shovelin continued his involvement with the county and he helped the Donegal U21s to the Ulster title back in April.

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