There is great sadness in Co. Clare today after news that a former footballer for the county, Michael O’Shea, has passed away at the age of 37.

O’Shea, who played for 15 seasons after making his debut in 1999 at senior level for Clare and was captain of the Banner side, died of cancer.

He was also joint-manager of the county‘s Under-21 team after retiring from playing and helped club Kilmihil to a county intermediate title last year.

O’Shea, who was a member of An Garda Síochána, is survived by his wife Orlaith, his daughter Éirinn, his parents Joseph and Elizabeth, brother John and his sister Oonagh.

His club St Senan’s Kilkee confirmed the news on Facebook, saying: “Our hearts are absolutely aching today with the pain of the loss of our brother Michael O‘Shea – arguably the greatest footballer ever to wear the blue & white jersey of St. Senan‘s Kilkee.

“Michael passed away in the loving arms of his family following the bravest fought battle with cancer.

“His determination to beat the illness should not have surprised any of us who ever witnessed his determination on a football field.

“He fought a long tough battle with courage, strength and dignity – all the attributes that were earned in hard county and club training sessions and battles on the football field over almost three decades.

“We are all proud to have had the opportunity to have Michael coach Kilmihil and help bring our club back to senior grade last year and very privileged to have known him as a person.

“He was a fantastic player for his club St. Senan’s Kilkee and wore the Clare jersey with distinction for many years. He was a wonderful character, full of life, humour and great courage.

“He will be sorely missed but forever remembered.”