Maxie (Jim ) McCann R.I.P.

(17 Nov 2017)

It was with deep regret that I heard of the death of Jimmy ‘Maxie’ McCann, a great footballer, a proud North Inner City man and a perfect gentleman with a great sense of fun. He has suffered over the past few years from a series of bad health setbacks but has shown immense bravery and has endured his illness’s without losing his sense of humour.  In recent year’s I was proud to become an ‘in-law’ of Maxie when one of his grand daughters and one of my nephews became partners producing a great grandson for him and a grand nephew for me.

My first recollection of Maxie was when as a kid, living in Phibsboro, beside Dalymount and a regular attendant at Bohemians matches, I queued in the lane outside the Ground to get his autograph following a Bohs versus Rovers game. He was sitting on his bike, leaning against the wall patiently signing for everyone who wanted his signature well after all the other players had gone. I remember thinking how considerate he was to the kids who were waiting patiently and who were being acknowledged by one of their heroes.

Maxie was a brilliant player he played on that great Shamrock Rovers team of the 1950’s and early 60’s and achieved many personal landmarks. When Rovers played in the European Cup and lost 3-2 to Manchester United in Old Trafford, by scoring Rovers first goal in that game he became the first player to score for an Irish Club in European football. Apart from playing many times for the League of Ireland representative teams and in ‘B’ Internationals, he received one Full Senior cap for Ireland when he scored once in Ireland’s 3-0 win over Germany in 1956 when Germany were World Champions. Apart from his own personal achievements he won many Leagues and particularly FAI Cups with that famous Rovers team that included the likes of Liam Hennessy, Noel Peyton and the late Liam Tuohy together with many others who were household names at the time.

Maxie's beloved wife of very many years, Mary, died over five years ago and he leaves behind his daughter Maria and four sons, Ray, Shay, Dave and Paul. All his sons followed in his footsteps by playing Soccer. Ray, Shay and Dave all played for Belvedere and in those early days of the Club they contributed greatly to the rise of the Club from early beginnings. Paul, his youngest played for Sheriff YC, another North Inner City team. Ray went on to play League of Ireland with Bohemians while the others played good standard Junior Football. Maxie always supported his sons attending their games whenever he could. He was very proud of his roots and spent all his life in the Summerhill area of the North Inner City. He was great company and always good humoured, one of the great characters of Irish Soccer. It will be hard to meet his like again.

May he Rest in Peace.

Vincent Butler

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