The Gaelic Players Association has added its voice to the many tributes that have been paid to former Antrim and London hurler John McCaughan who sadly passed away on June 28 last.
A Nicky Rackard Cup winner with London in 2005, the 38-year-old's home club, Robert Emmets Cushendun, said the 'devastating news' of John's untimely passing had 'sent shockwaves throughout the community'.
"The untimely passing of John McCaughan at the age of only 38 has sent shockwaves throughout the community," a tribute posted on their website (www.cushendungac.com) read.
"Tributes to John were coming in from all over North Antrim and further afield last evening as the devastating news of his death following a short illness spread through the village.
"Lifelong friend, teammate and work colleague, Dominic Magee described him as a legend while others recounted his glory days on the hurling fields of Antrim, London and New York.
"John rose to prominence as a hurler when his talents were recognised in Garron Tower. He collected a colleges All Star award for his performances with the college team. A speedy wing half forward with a keen eye for a score, he soon went on to become one of the younger members of the most successful team Cushendun has produced in a generation.
"He was an integral part of the team that made it all the way to the Senior Championship Final in 2000.We all know the outcome of that final, however John scored an inspirational point that day shortly after half time to briefly give us a lead over Dunloy and a glimmer of hope that our dream of winning might come true.
"Sadly it wasn't to be. However John was a rising star and he left Cushendun to seek fame and fortune in far off lands. He travelled to New York where he played alongside luminaries such as Dan Kinney for the Kilkenny team for a year before heading to London where he really made name for himself on the hurling field.
"Along with Danny Murphy he starred for the Robert Emmets club for several seasons and won four senior Championships with The Emmets. The 2008 London County final was notable for the fact that when Murphy got sent off after three minutes, John had to carry the rest of the team to victory with a man of the match performance.
"John won a London All star award that year for his classy performances and is still the only Antrim man to win this accolade.
"While in London, he was selected to play County Hurling and along with five other North Antrim men helped London to win the inaugural Nicky Rackard All Ireland Cup in 2005. This was a proud day for his mother Eileen who travelled to the match and was thrilled to watch her son climb the steps of the Hogan Stand to collect his medal.
"John will be sorely missed by everyone in the club. To his mother Eileen, sisters, Clare and Seana, brothers in law Brendan and Michael, his nephews and nieces and the extended Mc Caughan family we offer our sincere condolences at this sad time."
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of a true Emmetts hero, John McCaughan. John was a supremely skillful hurler who joined in 2004 and helped us win four London titles. He is sorely missed by all of his team-mates, mentors and friends in London. pic.twitter.com/3V8N9VdFZo- Robert Emmetts GAA (@R_EmmettsLondon) June 30, 2018
It is with deep regret that The Gaelic Players Association has learned of the untimely passing of former London hurler, John McCaughan.- GPA (@gaelicplayers) July 4, 2018
John was on the @officiallondongaa team that won the inaugural Nicky Rackard Cup in 2005.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/RVeZj5xT7Q