Corden, Andrew

January 01, 2001
By Willie Quillan ANDREW was a highly respected and highly regarded footballer. He was a fantastic player and also a leader. I remember when he first came on the scene for Carlow, we were playing against Louth and it was Andrew's first championship match. On our way to the game in Newbridge JJ Larnbert asked me to sit down and have a chat with Andrew, feeling the youngster might be nervous. But Andrew was quite composed and confident and not in any need of advice. He was always willing to listen and learn and if Andrew had something to say he came straight out with it. Not alone have we lost an outstanding footballer but also a very good friend. I spoke earlier in the year about the fact that the Carlow team had finally welded into a family team, something akin to a club team. Andrew was part of that family set-up and we now have lost part of it. As a footballer, Andrew's greatest asset was his pace. He was very strong and if he got the ball in the full-back line Andrew could end up in the opposing half forward line within a matter of seconds. He was also a very good reader of the game and as a defender it made no difference to him whether you, as a forward, played him from in front or behind. Last year when The O'Hanrahans played Nemo Rangers in the All-lreland club semi-final, Andrew played on Colin Corkery and, never gave Corkery a kick of the ball out of play. Andrew was very clean and very honest on the field of play and that equally would go for him off the field. He would never stoop to anything underhand - he never needed to because he was so good. Andrew played the ball as long as you played the ball with him. In training for the county and in matches between O'Hanrahans and Eire Og we would be in opposition and would have a great tussle. But there was absolutely no malice in Andrew - he was fair and sporting. In my view, Andrew Corden will never be replaced by Carlow or by his club. He was something special as a footballer. He was more than a footballer, Andrew was an athlete and was the kind of individual who could take up any sport and be a success at it. He never missed training and gave 110% in every game. I have never seen Andrew "roasted" by any forward in his time with the Carlow county team over the past four or five years. He played against the best half forwards and I never heard anyone say that Andrew Corden had got a roasting from any attacker. In fact, it was usually, quite the opposite - Andrew was usually our star player. On that faithful Sunday I celebrated my 35th birthday. But once I heard the news at 9 o'clock that morning it turned out to be a very sad day for me. I may be repeating myself but I don't believe that Andrew Corden will ever be replaced. Parents mourning Andrew who was centre of the family The grieving parents of Andrew Corden, the 24year-old Carlow senior football captain killed in a tragic accident near his Oak Park Road home early on Sunday morning, have spoken of Andrew as "the centre of the family"~ and a person on whom the entire family doted. Frank and Mary Corden say they have been helped in their terrible loss by the tributes to Andrew that have poured in since news of the tragedy broke. Andrew, who celebrated his 24th birthday on April 25, was the youngest of five children, and, according to his parents, was the life and soul of any party or social function within the family circle. He and a friend had wandered into an open shed in a Greencore compound known to local people as the old Erin Foods cannery, at Dr. Cullen Road at about 4 am on Sunday. The two men had been socialising in Carlow earlier and appeared to have been driving forklift trucks when the tragedy occurred, Andrew was crushed by a forklift. The body was removed to Waterford Regional Hospital, where a postmortem was held. Andrew worked as a sales manager with Deycom Ltd., a computer company, and was based on O'Brien Road, Carlow. He was the father of two year-old daughter, Sorcha and was extremely devoted to the child. News of his untimely death has left both his club, O'Hanrahans and the Carlow senior football team absolutely devastated. As captain of both club and county Andrew was a born leader on the football field and, without doubt, was his county's most consistent player over the past few years. Nine days previously Andrew captained Carlow in their first round Leinster SFC meeting with Westmeath at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise. In January he had become the first ever Carlow captain to claim the O'Byrne Cup as Carlow beat neighbours Wicklow. The previous month he captained his county to victory over Dublin in the Kevin Jordan SF tournament final at Dr. Cullen Park. In October Andrew, who played at full-back for The O'Hanrahans, skippered The Blues to their third successive Carlow SFC title. He was honoured in 1999 with the Gaelic Football Award in the Carlow GAA Sports Star Awards. Andrew's inherent football brain, anticipation and ability to inspire his colleagues with inspirational upfield sallies were the qualities that he brought to his garne and marked him out as a special player. The spirit of Andrew was epitomised in a story about him at the age of four. The youngster set off on his sister's bicycle, accompanied by the family dog, Soda, and rode to a couple of miles beyond Castledermot. The Cordens were contacted and asked to collect Andrew. Besides his football ability Andrew's other outside interest was in playing the drums. The remains were removed from Healy's Funeral Home to The Church of the Holy Family, Askea. The O'Hanrahans and Carlow No.3 jerseys were placed on the coffin and guards of honour were formed by playing colleagues from club and county. The Funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr. Brendan Howard, CC Myshall, former O'Hanrahan's GFC president, after which burial took place in St. Mary's cemetery. Huge crowds attended on both occasions. Andrew is mourned by his parents, daughter Sorcha and her mother Una, by his brothers and sisters Mrs. Catherine Treacy (Saudi Arabia), Brian (The Downs, Pollerton, Carlow), Mrs. Fiona Scully (The Downs) and Richard (Dublin), as well as by his many friends neighbours and other relatives. May 2002 - courtesy of the Carlow Nationalist

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