Heartbroken Dundalk FC manager Vinny Perth led the tributes for his friend and colleague Harry Taaffe following his passing on Sunday, describing him as a “father figure” who was “in many was the most important person in my coaching career.”
In a touching tribute to a person described as his “right hand man”, Perth said no words would ever be enough to describe just what Harry had meant to him and the team.
Perth said: “People in Dundalk will look back on the last eight years and think of Kenny, Towell, Gartland, Hoban etc but you’re forgetting a key man in that list.
“Harry Taaffe has been my right hand man since I arrived at the club. Every video analysis we ever produced for the players went through Harry.
“Many nights, especially in 2016, we would still be working until 3 or 4 in the morning. Myself and Stephen Kenny were made feel so at home in his house that we have both fallen asleep on his sofa in his sitting room preparing for games.
“I haven’t lost a friend because friends come and go. I have lost a father figure and in many ways-the most important person in my coaching career.
“Unless you’re in the inner circle of our football club you’ll never understand what Harry Taaffe meant to me and the players. Harry was always encouraging us to be closer to the community and it’s something he got so much joy from when we did.
“I can’t believe we won’t row again over water charges, politics or so many other issues. To never see Harry on a tractor again around our club is unthinkable.
“H was a Robin Hood character for the town of Dundalk and especially the club. As a community we need to be there for his family, who he cared so much for.
“Dundalk FC is and will be forever be a better place because of H.”