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Newry crash victim Gary ‘Cookie’ McLoughlin was a ‘club legend’

A keen footballer, a number of clubs across Northern Ireland took to social media to pay tribute to Gary's life

Gary McLoughlin

A man who died following a road-traffic collision outside Newry at the weekend has been named locally as Gary ‘Cookie’ McLoughlin.

Officers had received a report of a collision on the Forkhill Road involving a male pedestrian and a Nissan car at around 10.40pm on Saturday night.

The man was taken to hospital following the collision but sadly died from his injuries a short time later.

Hundreds of tributes have been paid online to a man so highly thought-of; a sense of shock permeating the wider Newry community over the last 36 hours.

Gary was a keen footballer – a huge football fan – and it was football clubs from across Northern Ireland taking to social media to pay tribute.

Newry-based club Ashgrove Rovers FC said: “As a club we are devastated to hear about the passing of former player Gary ‘Cookie’ McLoughlin. Cookie was with us for six seasons over two spells and helped the club win its first trophy with him opening the scoring in the cup final.

“He definitely will go down as a club legend as you always knew when he was around you were guaranteed a laugh and good time. We would like to pass on our condolences to his entire family circle at this heart-breaking time. RIP Cookie.”

Linfield Football Club added: “Linfield Football Club are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Gary McLoughlin, father of Linfield U18s player and scholarship student Matty McLoughlin. We pass our sincere condolences to Matty and his family at this very sad time.”

Dungannon Swifts FC said: “As a club we would like to pass on our condolences to the McLoughlin family after the sudden passing of Gary. Gary helped out with our U16 team last season and everyone at the club would like to offer their prayers and support at this time to the wider family circle.”

The Forkhill Road was closed for a number of hours but has since re-opened.

Enquiries into the collision are ongoing, and officers from the Collision Investigation Unit would appeal to anyone who was travelling in the area at the time of the collision, or who has any dash cam or mobile phone footage, to contact them at Sprucefield on 101, quoting reference number 1661 23/03/24.

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